London and LA-based Genflow, a brand-building agency that offers e-commerce and mobile tech platform to let influencers start companies, has raised $11M (approx €9M) in a fresh round of funding led by UK-based investor BGF.
Use of the funds
The raised capital will be used by Genflow to further scale its offering and for international expansion.
Shan Hanif, CEO of Genflow, says “We’re excited to be partnering with BGF on this next phase of our growth journey. Their market knowledge, reputation, and network made them the clear partner to help scale our business. As a result of this funding will be able to grow our existing brands, launch a wider variety of products and push on with our global expansion plans.”
The business is based in London and LA and, with the new funding, it will expand into Miami, New York, and Hong Kong.
“Led by an exceptional founder in Shan Hanif, we’re looking forward to helping the business realise its ambitious expansion plans. Genflow has demonstrated a strong track record of year-on-year growth and has created an exciting new business model that is disrupting the traditional social media advertising market,” says Daina Spedding of BGF.
The startup was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Shan Hanif to help social media influencers develop their brands and drive revenue streams from their audiences.
The company’s Brand-as-a-Service (BAAS) platform, which helps influencers develop their own digital and physical products instead of promoting other brands, allows them to launch their own membership club, gated community, mobile app or direct to consumer brand.
In addition, it also claims to offer the complete infrastructure from design, development, manufacturing and logistics through to strategy, marketing and content creation to drive revenue and profit.
Genflow has established influencers as clients who typically have large followings on Instagram and Youtube. Tapping into Gen Z consumer buying habits, which sees a growing number of younger consumers looking to buy from ‘people’ rather than corporate brands, the platform helps influencers develop scalable revenue streams that are not dependent on traditional brand endorsement deals.
Chris Underhill appointed to Genflow’s board
With this investment, Genflow has also announced the appointment of digital and social tech veteran Chris Underhill to its board. Underhill has over more than 20 years of experience working with PE-backed IT software and services companies. He brings with him significant UK and international growth experience as a previous tech founder and more recently, as chair of several digital marketing, advertising and social tech businesses.
The company has recently launched Genlytics to predict and analyse how much an influencer can sell by analysing an influencer’s data. Shan Hanif feels “Getting people’s attention and attracting customers remains the biggest challenge and cost for any brand.”
In the last four year, Genflow has enjoyed exponential growth by helping young influencers achieve more than $1M (approx €823K) in profit and their brands becoming household names; it claims to have helped influencers create over $100M (approx €82.3M) in brand value, to date.
Other players in the influencer brand building market include Raenna, an Indonesian startup which raised a $1.82M (approx €1.4M) seed round in 2019; and Chinese business, Ruhnn, which raised $125M (approx €102.9M) after it listed on the Nasdaq. Both companies have built up huge profiles in Asia and Genflow is looking to replicate their growth trajectories in the US and Europe.