- Investors include family offices and high net worth angel investors in both the UK and US
- Previously Takumi raised seed funding worth $3.1 million (£2.5 million) from UK angel investors
- Takumi works with over 300 brands and agencies across Europe and the US, facilitating over 1,000 influencer posts per month
London: Takumi, the leading European and original “micro-influencer” marketing platform which connects brands to these influencers to create impactful grassroot Instagram marketing campaigns, announces the successful completion of a Series A funding round worth $4 million (£3.2 million) to fund its US and global expansion.
Previously it raised $3.1million (£2.5 million) in seed investment and this new round brings Takumi’s total funding to date to $7.1 million (£5.7 million).
The Series A funding will be used to support the company’s U.S. and global expansion, having recently launched into the American market. A few months ago it launched in Ireland and also expanded into Germany last year.
The funding will also be used to develop Takumi’s product further, enabling a wider range of campaign options and more in-depth campaign reporting. This will allow brands to understand and capitalise on the potential of influential social media users further.
The $4 million (£3.2 million) investment comes from family offices and high net worth (HNW) angel investors and brings the total investor base to over 50, including prominent UK, European and US investors with extensive networks within high profile consumer brands and agency groups.
Takumi provides a clearly differentiated model by being an “influencer first” managed service platform, with a focus on “micro-influencers” on Instagram who have between 1,000 to 200,000 followers. Research, generated by Takumi, has found that “micro-influencers” generate a higher engagement level of 2.9% due to having more active and engaged audiences.
This unique business model has enabled Takumi to scale quickly, to become the leading influencer platform in Europe. Takumi has also found that its clients favour the “turnkey” nature of its managed service solution, instead of competitors’ software as a service (SaaS) based models when managing influencer campaigns.
Takumi works with over 300+ brands and agencies across Europe and the US, and to date has handled over 10,000 influencer posts for over 600 campaigns. Brands and agencies that it has worked with includes Domino’s, Havas, Hilton and Sony Music.
Takumi was co-founded by Mats Stigzelius, Solberg Audunsson and Gummi Eggertsson in 2015. The three Co-Founders of Takumi combine a varied range of experience in both marketing and finance.
Takumi Co-Founder and CEO, Mats Stigzelius said: “Influencer marketing is still in its early stages but will grow into a major marketing channel over the next five years. Brands are increasingly leveraging social media influencers to create highly engaging branded content to reach their ideal consumers more organically.”
“In response to this, globally, many startups have sprung up in this space over the last few years as it has gained in popularity. However, at Takumi we believe that the market will consolidate around a few proven winners in each major territory that are able to cater to the increasing client demand for quick, efficient, high quality campaigns and who can provide the required volume of campaign opportunities and talented influencers to fulfil those campaigns.”
“By offering the best platform possible for influencers and brands, it has allowed us to scale quickly and this will also drive our future growth. However, with this new funding, our undoubted aim is to make Takumi the leading global influencer platform, both for brands and influencers.”
Takumi Co-Founder and Head of Product, Solberg Audunsson commented: “Marketers are being burned by their negative experiences with influencer engagement campaigns. Transparency is critical to us at Takumi and this is why we’ll be using this funding to improve our product even further to enable more insightful and analytical campaign reporting. In-depth campaign reporting and thorough campaign metrics are crucial not only for brands, but also for influencers and we will seek to exceed industry standards in terms of measuring the performance of these campaigns.”
Dominic Perks, CEO at Hambro Perks, an early backer of Takumi, said: “You can’t fail to be impressed by how far Takumi has come in under two years. Based on the progress they have achieved to date, the team they have in place and their current growth rate, we would expect Takumi to establish itself as a best in class, global influencer marketing platform.”
Takumi Co-Founder and CFO, Gummi Eggertsson concludes: “With the new funding in place, we can now execute on our growth strategy and enable a much wider community of influencers and clients to benefit from having access to our platform.”
Takumi is a leading managed service platform for influencer campaigns, founded by Mats Stigzelius, Solberg Audunsson and Gummi Eggertsson. Having launched in November 2015, Takumi is the most active influencer platform in Europe, with 1,000+ influencer postings per month. Takumi is also part of the London Mayor’s International Business programme, which is focused on London startups that are focused on international growth. Takumi recently launched in the U.S., having launched in Germany in Q.3 2016.
For clients, Takumi is a managed service platform where they can activate the highest quality campaigns as a “turnkey” solution.
The influencer (iOS/Android) app allows approved Instagram users with as few as 1,000 followers to browse a selection of “gigs” listed by brands. The influencer chooses which campaigns they want to support, posting their own creative-spin on the proposed brief, including a hashtag signposting it as paid-for-content.
How Takumi Works:
Joining: An Instagram user must apply to join the platform and once accepted, it enables influencers to participate in brand campaigns on Instagram. The Takumi platform enables the influencer to see all influencer campaigns that they are eligible for and they can choose to only work on the campaigns that best fit them and their follower base. Takumi takes care of compiling performance reports and payments.
- Sponsored Posts: Thanks to Takumi’s technology, it makes sure influencers are following The Advertising Standards Authority (The ASA) recent guidance on marketing communications. Its technology is able to make sure that sponsored posts must include #ad, if they do not, the post will not be accepted on the app.
- Payment: Takumi handles all payments to influencers, paying the influencers in less than 48 hours. Influencers are paid in accordance to size of their following and the scale of the campaign, with the average Takumi user earning hundreds of pounds per month.
- Tax Compliance: As Takumi handles the complete campaign, including payment for services, it is able to produce an income statement for the year in PDF format, which can then be submitted to the relevant tax authorities by influencers.