About the Business
Founded in 2014, GRIN is a startup that develops direct-to-consumer influencer marketing software for ecommerce brands. Essentially, the software created by the company allows large ecommerce brands to manage influencer marketing campaigns by offering tools to find, engage, and foster relationships with influencers. Additionally, the platform allows businesses to pay influencers, ship products, track overall campaign success and effectiveness, and more.
The influencer software business claims that through the software, ecommerce brands will have access to a library of 32 million social media users from all types of platforms to find the right fit. The startup company even allows ecommerce brands to integrate their other marketing tactics and tools like social media, Slack, Shopify, PayPal, Microsoft programs, and others into the system.
Ecommerce brands like Love Your Melon, Macy’s, LiquidIV, MVMT, BoxyCharm, Ipsy, and many others are all customers of the company.
Hootsuite, Upfluence, and CreatorIQ are similar competitors to the business as they offer do-it-yourself social media campaign creation and management. That said, GRIN differentiates itself from other social media campaign management systems because of its full suite of aforementioned services that other companies do not offer.
Series A Extension
The startup company announced it raised $16 million as an extension to a Series A financing round that initially began in December 2020. This new capital is led by Imaginary Ventures and featured participation from Good Friends Venture Capital. Some general partners at Good Friends Venture Capital include founders of ecommerce brands like Allbirds, Warby Parker, and Harry’s.
Crunchbase data indicates the business originally raised $10 million in December when the Series A began.
Brandon Brown, CEO and co-founder of the startup, said in a statement, “...The key is to empower brand teams to own their direct creator relationships, which is the only way to cultivate honest endorsements that resonate with consumers...We re-opened our Series A at a jump in valuation after hearing the enthusiasm from Imaginary to be a part of our growth…” Brown did not disclose a valuation for GRIN.
With the new capital, the software business plans to invest in developing new tools for the platform, such as reporting and analytics. In addition, Brown added in an interview that the company would like to grow its team and explore the possibility of a new platform designed to help individual influencers manage their own social media marketing activities.
Many companies, no matter how big or small they may be, have utilized social media influencer marketing as an alternative to traditional print, video, or audio advertising. Influencer marketing can have a significant impact as influencers hold a particular power that can make their opinions or beliefs more valuable to businesses and could potentially lead to a boost in sales for products, services, or experiences.
The influencer marketing industry is projected to be worth $15 billion by 2022 compared to $8 billion in 2019. While influencers can be found on virtually any social media platform, Instagram is a golden ticket for full immersion into the influencer market.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.