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Almost a decade ago, a new digitally native playing ground emerged globally. This enabled creators to reach audiences directly. Monetization tools soon followed, and the audience-first business was born. Cut to today, influencer marketing supports a diverse array of campaigns that go beyond traditionally paid sponsorships.
But, what will make an influencer partnership or campaign successful is a credible relationship between the brand and the influencer. To tap this huge potential of the creator economy, One Impression came into the frame in 2018 as a creator discovery platform, when the industry was still at its nascent stage. The company is driven by a vision of enabling growth for and via influencer marketing.
“We realized that brands irrespective of their scale were unable to drive influencer-led campaigns seamlessly. Our media research also revealed that there was a significant disparity in the market price of influencer services. We wanted to address these need gaps and offer brands a platform where they can connect with influencers, shortlist them as per their pricing/ messaging, undertake the campaign, and even track the performance all on one platform. Essentially, building a full-stack platform that helps brands drive influencer-led initiatives,” said Apaksh Gupta and Jivesh Gupta, co-founders, One Impression, in a joint statement.
While elaborating about the company’s establishment and operating procedures they said, “We leveraged data science to develop our influencer database and initiated communication through email and direct messages.” According to them, during the early days of the platform, the influencer market was relatively untapped, resulting in positive responses from influencers. The platform’s clear, concise, and transparent messaging played a crucial role in garnering favorable responses. The influencers needed to monetize their services, which led to the development of One Impression’s initial network.
In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of a new class of creators, with many in this cohort turning to careers in content creation. The ecosystem has also evolved massively over the last few years and influencers have become indispensable to the ecosystem- brands and consumers. The One Impression co-founders’ believe that this is just the beginning and the next phase of growth will take place in tier-3 and tier-4 cities. “Young creators (young in the field) will emerge from these markets. My advice to them will be to keep authenticity at the core of everything that you do, monetization will follow,” they said.
Furthermore, while there are multiple players in the creator ecosystem, most of them are, according to them, either talent agencies or tech platforms that solve only parts of the entire problem. One Impression has been one of the early entrants in the creator economy which has allowed brands to build deep insights. “We are also the first players to have invested in building a world-class platform for solving problems across the value chain for each stakeholder giving us one-of-a-kind positioning in the space and concurrently, giving us a strong head start,” asserted Apaksh and Jivesh in the statement.
Unleashing the idea that technology can help brands and creators connect better, One Impression aims to accelerate their growth by focusing on scaling our sales and marketing function to increase the adoption of the platform amongst brands for their influencer engagements. They further said, “As a product-first company, a large majority of our funds will be deployed toward product development. We are building some very exciting tools both for brands as well as content creators, aimed at solving back-end operational problems in order to allow scalability.”
Being asked about their funding rounds, the co-founders explained, “We have raised more than $11 million in two funding rounds. In the last round of seed funding in January 2022, the company raised $1 million from top angel investors such as Peeyush Bansal (founder, Lenskart), Anupam Mittal (CEO, People Group), and celebrities such as Olympian Neeraj Chopra, Comedian Zakir Khan amongst others. In the latest Series-A round, we raised another $10 million round led by KRAFTON.” They also revealed that currently, the company is not looking to raise future funds, but are working towards achieving their vision through Series A funding.
All these years, the creator economy has been reinventing itself and evolving into something more significant through the emergence of newer models and opportunities for the creators, communities and brands. According to a report by influencer marketing firm Zefmo, globally, there are over 200 million creators and India is set to have the largest base of social media content creators with the figure crossing 100 million this year.