BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Influential, a Data-First influencer marketing platform, announced today that it has raised a $5M Series A round of funding with lead investor, Capital Zed, an Australia-based disruptive technology investor, bringing the overall total of funding raised by Influential, to date to $9M. Influential is a technology platform and social media influencer network that is fueled by the cognitive computing power of IBM Watson. Influential works with more than 7,000 top influencers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine and YouTube, representing more than 4.4 billion followers.
"This Series A round, under the direction of Capital Zed, represents a significant step forward for Influential, as we continue to build our enterprise-level technology for brands and agencies, with a hyper-focus on unstructured data," said Ryan Detert, CEO and Co-Founder of Influential. "We are ramping up hires and allocating resources towards our developers, data scientists and data partners, as we continue to change the market with our demographic and psychographic data approach."
Influential brings structure and measured results to a previously unstructured social marketing arena. Influencers are activated via Influential's patent pending app to run brand campaigns with 100 percent guaranteed unique in-demographic impressions, and brand-safe messaging. Influential creates conversations that can make a brand or product the most popular topic in the world, and targets age, gender, interests, ethnicity, and more than 60,000 data points, making it possible to make a true media buy on social.
In early 2016, Influential co-built a technology and became a developer partner of IBM Watson, utilizing its cognitive technology and relying on the Personality Insights service to analyze large volumes of unstructured natural language data from social media profiles, across multiple channels. This cognitive-powered platform identifies personality traits for brands and agencies, based on semantic data pulled from an influencer's social media feeds. Clients can now choose the most relevant influencers, based on how they are perceived, in terms of over 50 traits including adventurousness, intellect and altruism. This platform, coupled with Influential's third-party demographics data partners, makes for the most robust and data-driven influencer identification system on the market.
"We are proud to have led the Series A Round for Influential. We believe that the company, under the leadership of Ryan and his talented management team, are visionaries in the space. Alongside their vision, passion and energy is a technology platform built to deliver an enterprise-grade experience to agencies and brands, as well as the fast growing influencer community," said Zac Rosenberg, Founding Partner of Capital Zed.
Participating institutional investors in this fundraising round include ROAR, Paradigm Talent Agency, Europlay Capital Advisors, Ace Fund and MSMCi, which is led by Doug Barry, original investor in Pandora.
Participating angel investors in this fundraising round include Alex Welch, Co- Founder and former CEO of Photobucket, Michael Tedesco, former Global Head of Technology M&A at Citigroup, Chris Varelas of Riverwood Capital and Ivan Brockman of Blackstone.
Influential is a Data-First influencer platform with enterprise technology and a patent pending app on the hip pocket of more than 7,000 of the most highly engaged influencers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. Influential allows brands and agencies to make a digital media buy on social, via an in-demo impression guarantee, which mirrors traditional or digital media spends. Influential conducts all campaigns through a brand-safe gateway and provides robust recaps via third party analytics partners. Influential works with Fortune 500 brands like Hershey's, Coca-Cola Company, NBC Universal, Nestle, General Mills and Sony Pictures. In 2015, Influential became a developer partner of IBM Watson and tapped into its cognitive computing power to match brands including KIA Motors America with the most relevant influencers by personality traits and archetypes. Influential has offices in Beverly Hills, New York City and Las Vegas.