White House photo

White House Chief Digital Officer Ory Rinat is leaving the Trump administration later this month to launch a new technology company focused on influencer marketing, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Rinat was instrumental in crafting the White House’s digital strategy and policy over the past three years. He has been with the White House since 2017.

Details: People familiar with the plans say the departure is amicable and that Rinat, who previously worked with the Heritage Foundation and Atlantic Media Strategies, is leaving because he wanted to start his own company.

  • At the White House, Rinat helped build out digital assets including WhiteHouse.gov and all of the White House's social media handles.
  • They include CrisisNextDoor.gov and Coronavirus.gov websites dealing with the opioid and coronavirus public health crises, as well as PSAs around those crises.

Rinat's new company, to be based in D.C., will close a seed round of investment this month, including some venture capital investment, per a source familiar with the funding. Engineers, designers, and a creator services team to be hired within the next month.

  • It will power a technology platform for performance-based influencer and affiliate marketing.
  • The platform will be available in the public affairs, food and cooking, parenting, and financial services verticals before expanding to others.
  • It will only allow certain influencers to sign up to participate, so that it can vet those influencers as being brand-safe for advertisers.

The big picture: Currently, advertisers hire influencers to hawk products or ideas to their massive followings online, but it's hard to measure influencers' direct impacts on purchases or engagement.

  • Rather than pay influencers a lump sum of money, Rinat's platform will allow advertisers to pay out influencers based on a fixed cost-per-conversion rate.

Be smart: The public affairs sector lags when it comes to accountability and metrics-driven marketing. Rinat hopes to use his background in media and public affairs to differentiate the platform from other influencer marketing companies.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 30,241,377 — Total deaths: 947,266— Total recoveries: 20,575,416Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 6,681,251 — Total deaths: 197,763 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Anxious days for airline workers as mass layoffs loom

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, during a Sept. 9 protest outside the Capitol. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass reductions when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30.

Where it stands: Airline CEOs met Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said President Trump would support an additional $25 billion from Congress to extend the current aid package through next March.

House Democrats ask DOJ watchdog to probe Durham's Trump-Russia investigation

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynsky/AFP via Getty Images

Four Democratic House committee chairs on Friday asked the Justice Department's inspector general to launch an "emergency investigation" into whether Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, his appointee, are taking actions that could "improperly influence the upcoming presidential election."

Catch up quick: Last year, Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe, after he and President Trump claimed that it was unjustified and a "hoax."