Octoly, a French influencer marketing startup that lets digital creators receive free products in exchange for publishing reviews on said items to YouTube and Instagram, has announced today a $10 million funding round.
The Series A comprises investments from French ad giant Havas Group, European venture capital company Otium Venture, marketing firm Twins Partners, and the European Union’s SME Instrument program. Octoly previously raised a $1.2 million seed round in 2015 from Otium and online media company AdUX. Octoly’s fleet of 10,000 beauty, fashion, and lifestyle micro-influencers boasts a total of more than 1 billion collective subscribers. Octoly has facilitated collaborations with bold-faced brands including Dior, Sephora, OPI, Clarins, and Urban Decay.
And while the influencers that create content for Octoly do not receive monetary compensation for their videos — though the products they receive are free — the company has launched yet another service for influencers with its new funding in tow. A new platform called Octoprime will enable influencers to create their own online stores to vend the products featured in their reviews. While the ecommerce platform is still in beta and creators don’t earn a cut of any sales just yet, the company says it “will be testing several programs to reward you in a very near future.” To date, all of Octoly’s 10,000 influencers have launched stores on Octoprime, the company says.
Two-year-old Octoly, founded by the entrepreneur Thomas Owadenko, counts 60 employees across two offices in Paris and New York. In recent months, the company has expanded its founding focus on beauty to include fashion and lifestyle products. Octoly has delivered 200,000 products to influencers across the United States, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, it says.
“We decided to support Octoly as earned media is becoming more and more important in the marketing mix for our customers,” said Havas Group CEO Yannick Bollore in a statement. “We strongly believe that the value of Octoly is in its capacity to deliver unbiased reviews for brands.”