Brian, Ryan, and Brandon sitting on a blue couch

Why we raised our $10M Series A

When Brian, Ryan and I launched the GRIN platform in late 2017 we had a pretty simple thesis:

Influencer marketing is fundamentally about building trust between brands and consumers.

For this to work, brands need to take a relationship-based approach, as opposed to transactional, to their influencer collaborations. This is because direct relationships inspire brand & product belief, which is necessary for the content to feel trustworthy to the consumer.

This simple insight has been the core driver for much of our business as the world knows it today.

Today I am very pleased to announce that we have closed a $10M Series A financing, which was led by e.ventures with participation from Bullpen Capital, Launch Fund and a syndicate of many of the world’s top ecommerce founders. Including the founders of X, Y and Z.

Along our journey a few key things have happened that enabled us to emerge as the fastest growing influencer marketing platform in the world.

The first is that it turns out our thesis around trust & relationships was correct. Our point-of-view was in fact not unique. Most of the world’s most valuable brands and marketers intuitively understood our positioning and they agreed. 

Second, we discovered very early on that the brands who were the most sophisticated with influencer marketing were D2C ecommerce brands. Brands like MVMT Watches, Fashion Nova, Liquid IV, and Cuts Clothing. So if we could win this segment with our product, we could win all others – eventually.

The third is that we discovered by integrating with the backend ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento we could automate huge parts of these brands workflow. We also could provide best-in-class revenue attribution because of the sales data insights we could analyze and share.

Since discovering these insights we have used focus on the customer as a weapon. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about competitors. Instead, we stay very focused on ecommerce brands and solving their problems with influencer marketing. Because of this, if you are an ecommerce brand, we have a product experience that is unrivaled in the industry. 

So where do we go from here?

First and foremost, you can expect us to stay very focused on the ecommerce segment. We believe there is an incredible amount of work still to be done to properly serve this rapidly growing segment of high-growth direct-to-consumer brands through marketing technology.

Secondly, we believe the definition of “influencer” is rapidly expanding. Consumers see social influencers, athletes, journalists, musicians, affiliates, artists and other opinion leaders as one and the same. There is no difference. However on the brand side the differences are immense. 

How you activate those people is dependent on many non-obvious nuances. Understanding this, throughout 2021 and beyond, we will begin expanding GRIN into a broader set of use-cases. We will always be influencer marketing first, but we believe there is an opportunity to also enable disciplines such as affiliate marketing, athlete marketing, ambassador programs and more through GRIN. 

In the process we will build GRIN into the world’s leading opinion leader platform. 

The long-term vision is that GRIN becomes the system of record for all of a brand’s opinion leaders; social influencers, traditional affiliates, athletes, customer advocates, student ambassadors, sampling teams and much more. It’s an exciting vision that we know will fundamentally change consumer marketing forever.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with e.ventures and welcoming Brendan Wales to join our board. E.ventures has an incredible track record in SaaS and marketing investing and they intimately understand the space we’re operating in. 

Thank you to all of our customers for believing in us and taking an early risk on us in this historically crowded space, especially those that adopted GRIN early. Our success is truly a function of your creative minds and ambition to partner with us on building a game-changing product.

And to the GRIN team, thank you for the tireless work and insane energy to get us to this point. Let’s keep the pedal down as we continue on our path towards the long-term vision and our 2021 plan. We have lots of work to do, we have the right team in place, I am eager to continue our rapid pace of execution.

Lastly to the investors who have partnered with us past and present, thank you for your support and belief. As you all know, we are just getting started.… 

-Brandon, Brian, Ryan

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© Grin Technologies Inc. 2024. All rights reserved.

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