NeoReach has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Michael Baum’s Founder.org led the round. NeoReach is an influencer marketing platform.
Influencer marketing platform, NeoReach, announces a $1.5M seed round lead by Michael Baum’s Founder.org. The company rewards users for sharing brands and products that they love. Unlike traditional influencer marketing platforms, NeoReach reduces the financial focus by leveraging a targeted matching algorithm and allowing the influencer and blogger to have the final say regarding which products they chose to endorse.
The additional $1.5M will be used to scale their operations and grow their development team.
NeoReach aims to automate the process of finding, sharing, and scaling influencer marketing campaigns. Traditional agencies and platforms allow brands to connect with influencers, but they force the brands to pick their own influencers, negotiate prices, and pay the influencers per post. Influencers are then handcuffed to working only with brands that contact them. NeoReach lets companies buy traffic in the same way they are used to: Pay‐Per‐Click. They also place an emphasis on giving users control over what brands they work with.
“The additional funding will allow us to payout 100% of earnings to the influencer while we scale up our users. This means that users earn the full cost-per-click that brands pay. Of course, we will eventually take a small fee, but we want to ensure that both users and brands are happy before we do”, says co-founder and CEO Jesse Leimgruber.
Influencer manager Brian Sorel says some of NeoReach’s top influencers include tech bloggers Chris Pirillo and Techno Buffalo, pro surfer Anastasia Ashley, ex-American Idol contestant Kayden Stephenson, and “Vine Stars” Weekly Chris, Joey Salads and Claudia Romani. NeoReach is not limited to celebrities and bloggers, they aim to tackle the “long-tail” by allowing any user to find and share products.
Some users fear that sponsorship may push people to share things solely for money. NeoReach aims to combat this by providing users with a wider selection of products, giving the bloggers control over their endorsements, and increasing transparency with influencer marketing.
In fact, the team is launching an influencer in residence program that provides influencers with an opportunity to work hand-in-hand and shape the direction of the influencer marketing space. “Sponsorship is an age-old tactic and people are sick of misleading ads. We work with influencers directly to ensure that our platform provides the most genuine way for users to connect with brands. Transparency and the ability to choose is key.” says growth strategist Shannon Wu.
Jesse & P.J. Leimgruber previously founded the digital marketing agency Rank Executives. Although the agency is ranked one of the nation’s leading search marketing firms, they wanted to work on a something that was more scalable. “Rank Executives is still expanding. It’s growing faster than ever since using NeoReach’s platform” says Leimgruber.
While NeoReach is the Leimgrubers’ third company, they are supported by co-founder Misha Talavera and the entrepreneurship community. The company graduated from The Alchemist Accelerator, an enterprise-focused accelerator ran by Stanford Professor, Ravi Belani. Former oDesk CEO, Gary Swart, is an advisor to the company. Additionally, they are part of Founder.org’s program, which provides hands-on mentorship and advice to student entrepreneurs.
“Hands-on advice and mentorship around enterprise relationships and operations is crucial. We’ve received key insights from our advisors and investors that would be virtually impossible to learn elsewhere.” says Co-Founder P.J. Leimgruber.
Tracking conversions and combatting click fraud are some key differentiators from their competitors. “We are making huge strides in our campaign pairing algorithm to match advertisers with the appropriate social media influencers. We analyze their user base demographics and social media impact.” says developer Shannon Kliffmueller, who is helping develop the companies algorithms.
What’s next for NeoReach?
The team says they are working on an iPhone app, launching an influencer-in-residence program, increasing their data analytics, and scaling up their influencer base.
NeoReach is backed by seasoned investors and entrepreneurs including Matt Mochary, Ashmeet Sidana, Greg Slyngstad, Bill Veghte, Laurent Asscher, George Arabian, Pradeep Singh, & Munir Ali.