Octoly the largest gifting marketplace for beauty, fashion and lifestyle influencers raises $10 million and launches OctoPrime.co, allowing 10,000 women influencers to automatically receive their own personal online store and sell the products that they review
Havas Group, Otium Venture, Twins Partners and the EU's highly competitive SME Instrument programme have announced that they have invested a total of $10 million in Series A funding in Octoly, an innovative platform that offers brands the opportunity to reach a unique community of influencers with over 1 billion collective subscribers.
Octoly launched in France two years ago and has since built a team of over 60 people in flagship offices in Paris and New York. The platform acts as a gifting marketplace which connects a strong, and growing, community of over 10,000 women micro-influencers specialized in beauty with more than 200 brands such as Dior, Sephora, Milk Makeup, OPI, Clarins and Urban Decay. Recently the company's initial beauty focus has widened to fashion and lifestyle brands. Through Octoly, influencers can browse a curated selection of full-size products free of charge and in return they create original content and publish authentic reviews for their followers on Instagram or YouTube. They receive no monetary compensation. Octoly's community represents a total of one billion followers across five countries: the United States, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Over 200,000 products have already been sent to influencers worldwide.
Havas Group CEO Yannick Bollore declared: "We decided to support Octoly as earned media is becoming more and more important in the marketing mix for our customers. We strongly believe that the value of Octoly is in its capacity to deliver unbiased reviews for brands. Authenticity is the cornerstone of influencer marketing which is now a billion-dollar industry. Their unique vision to incite passion and build a unique eco-system between brands, influencers and their fans convinced us to make this investment. We were also convinced by Thomas Owadenko's talent and the quality of his fantastic team."
Thomas Owadenko, founder and CEO of Octoly said: "We are proud that in just two years, thanks to an amazing team, we have become the largest marketplace worldwide to connect brands and influencers on social media, hitting a current trend of over 200,000 product reviews annually. We have uniquely positioned ourselves in a rapidly evolving space and I truly see Octoly as the operating system for micro-influencers to grow and make a difference".
Octoly has decided to further develop and leverage fan-based communities as a new sales channel for brands and influencers with the launch of OctoPrime, a new website in which each influencer will be able to build their own online shop and share the products featured on their YouTube and Instagram accounts directly with their followers. Unlike Amazon's Influencer Program - which is only accessible to a handful of celebrity influencers, OctoPrime is allowing micro-influencers to offer their followers a new experience to find the products featured on their social networks. OctoPrime launch 10,000 online shops today, one for each influencer.
"We were able to narrow the gap between brands and influencers with Octoly. It only made sense to do the same between influencers and their followers," - Owadenko commented.
OctoPrime will allow this ambitious startup to stay true to its ultimate vision: to empower a community of women influencers to become successful entrepreneurs and make their passion a living.
Otium Venture Partner Bruno Raillard commented: "At Otium, we see entrepreneurship and creativity as two major skills for the future of work. Through the launch of OctoPrime, Octoly is delivering on its vision to help women influencers unleash their creativity and earn a living from doing what they love. We are thrilled to participate in this new round of funding and excited to see Octoly accelerate its efforts to help their community thrive through authentic content creation".