GRIN, the leading influencer marketing software for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, today announces $16 million in new capital led by Imaginary Ventures. The round also included participation from Good Friends Venture Capital, which includes the founders of leading brands such as Allbirds, Warby Parker and Harry’s as general partners. This round is an extension of the company’s recent Series A, which took place in December 2020, highlighting GRIN’s rapid growth and support within the market. The additional funding will allow the company to heavily invest in channel integrations, reporting, analytics and a new suite of tools to support the creator economy.
As e-commerce continues to boom and social media platforms gain more influence over consumers’ purchase decisions, influencer marketing will remain a critical piece of the DTC marketing mix. GRIN offers an end-to-end solution for brands with capabilities ranging from influencer sourcing to relationship management and sales tracking.
“We created the first SaaS platform focused on authentic influencer marketing. 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,” said Brandon Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of GRIN. “We re-opened our Series A at a jump in valuation after hearing the enthusiasm from Imaginary to be a part of our growth. Imaginary has a long track record as leading brand investors and our partnership signals our impact on the DTC market. This new round will help us tackle the painful problems both brands and creators face today and continue our rise into being the system of record for the creator economy.”
“Our philosophy has always been to invest in high growth startups at the intersection of retail and technology,” said Nick Brown, Managing Partner of Imaginary Ventures. “GRIN has been on our radar since 2019 and many of our portfolio companies have benefitted through the use of the platform for their influencer marketing programs. While GRIN was not actively raising money, we approached the company to invest due to the strength of their product, leading position within the market and rapid overall growth. We’re pleased to partner with them in the next phase of their journey and believe that we are only at the beginning of the influencer & creator revolution.”
According to reports, influencer marketing is expected to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021, up 42% from last year. While some analysts thought that spending on influencer marketing could decrease due to COVID-19 budget cuts, the latest data shows that the opposite is true. The surge in consumer spending online has reinforced the importance of digital efforts, with influencer marketing being a core contributor via content production and organic impressions.
“As a DTC brand, our relationship with influencers and content creators is imperative to our business model. It helps us get the word out to our customers about who we are, our mission and our products,” added Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder and CEO of Allbirds. “We’ve used GRIN for some time now and when Brandon spoke to us about their plans moving forward, I wanted to make sure Good Friends could be a real partner in helping them reach their goals.”
In December 2020, GRIN closed an initial Series A funding round of $10 million led by e.ventures with participation from the founders of MVMT, Liquid IV, Kopari Beauty, Leesa and Rhone. To learn more about GRIN and schedule a demo to see how GRIN can make an impact on your influencer marketing strategy, please visit https://grin.co/.