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Creator marketing startup Pearpop reaches $300M valuation

Nov 29, 2022
Illustration of a social media "like" icon made out of a $100 bill.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Pearpop — a two-year-old, Los Angeles-based creator economy startup with a self-serve marketing platform — has added $18 million to its Series A and is now valued at $300 million, CEO Cole Mason tells Axios.

Why it matters: Amid cuts at other creator economy startups and an unstable digital ad environment, Pearpop has grown with its bet on charging brands and paying creators based on ad performance.

  • The slowdown "hasn't affected us because brands are looking for more efficient ways to deploy capital," Mason says. "We're continuing to grow rapidly because we're the best mousetrap to do influencer marketing."

Details: The new funding is from Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, Seven Seven Six, Blockchange Ventures, Avalanche's Blizzard Fund and C2 Ventures.

  • Pearpop has raised $34 million in total, $28 million in Series A and a $6 million seed round. Existing investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, The Chainsmokers and other celebrity investors.
  • Mason declined to disclose revenue. He noted that Pearpop creators have earned $10 million through the platform over the past year.
  • Pearpop is not profitable, but Mason says they could be at any moment if they weren't as "aggressive" with hiring. The company has 36 employees and plans to reach 60 by mid-next year.

How it works: Pearpop is a self-serve marketing platform that connects brands and creators. More than 200,000 creators are on the platform.

  • Its clients include brands like Amazon, Netflix and Chipotle and artists like Doja Cat, The Weeknd and Madonna. But Mason's vision is for anyone — from local businesses to even creators themselves — to pitch campaigns.
  • Pearpop makes money by taking a cut of every transaction, including the overall campaign deal and creator's individual posts.

The bottom line: "The whole model of paying for a post with a fee and just hoping for results is slowing down," Mason says. "But I think our model of paying for performance is changing the industry."

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