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Social commerce startup Mavely hits $150M in GMV

Illustration of a pattern made up of people under spotlights.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mavely, a social commerce platform that drives customer acquisition via its influencer network, boosted gross merchandise volume 150x year over year in 2022, co-founder and CEO Evan Wray tells Axios.

Why it matters: After Apple made privacy changes to its iOS, it undermined the ability of brands to cost-effectively acquire customers on social media sites, and to some extent via search engines.

  • As a result, alternatives such as influencer-driven networks specifically and social commerce platforms broadly are gaining in popularity.

How it works: The social commerce company connects major retail brands with what it describes as everyday influencers, but not necessarily nano- or micro-influencers, Wray says.

  • One of its influencers, for example, could be a former teacher who began recommending products she thought other teachers might like and then subsequently grew to have thousands of followers.
  • A vast majority of influencers that Mavely works with only promote products that resonate with their specific audiences.
  • Influencers earn a commission each time someone clicks on one of their links, which indicates a strong intent to purchase.
  • In Q4 alone, Mavely paid out $1 million per month in commissions to the 25,000 influencers or creators in its networks through social sales.

By the numbers: Mavely currently has a GMV run rate of between $150 million and $160 million, compared with $1 million in 2021, Wray says.

  • It's also increased the number of brands it works with by 135% to more than 700 over the last seven months. Wray says.
  • That includes Skims, Nordstrom Rack, Gap and Honest Co., per its website.
  • The conversion rate for brands utilizing Mavely is 3.5% on average, with some brands as high as between 7% and 8%, compared with an industry average below 1%, Wray says.
  • Mavely's platform generated some 20 million purchase actions last year, he says.

Catch up fast: Nu Skin Enterprises, a multi-level marketing business, acquired Mavely via its investment arm Rhyz in late 2021.

  • Mavely continues to run as an independent company, however, as part of a portfolio of businesses, Wray says.
  • He declined to comment on Nu Skin's intent for the business long term.

The bottom line: While Wray says it's unlikely the business grows as fast this year as last year, he's bullish on Mavely's growth trajectory.

  • February, which is usually one of the quietest months of the year, will likely be the third-largest month on record for the company in terms of GMV, he says.
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