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Social Native raises $8 million for user-created advertisements

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Social Native has created a marketplace for connecting brands with content creators who can create authentic social media assets that promote those brands. And that in turn has enabled Social Native to raise $8 million from investors including SoftBank Capital.

The Los Angeles startup is one of those that positioned for the era known as the “creator economy,” a term coined by futurist Paul Saffo to describe our shift from consumers of content to creators of content.

Social Native is working with top brands to find them low-cost and authentic content. In the age of social media, brands haven’t been able to keep up with the voracious demand for social media assets, such as videos or pictures, on all of the big social sites.

The company enlists the people who create an enormous amount of assets: the fans. Those fans currently don’t get paid for their authentic expressions of enthusiasm for a brand. Brands can express the kind of content they want, such as fans interacting with a new product.

Social Native uses its algorithms to figure out which content creators are creating the right content for the campaign, and it shows that content to the brands. The brands pay Social Native for the assets, and Social Native shares that money with the content creators who express their love for the products.

By contrast, an ad agency might charge $100 million for 100 campaigns. But content creators, who previously were doing their sharing for free, could be far less expensive and their content could be a lot better because it’s so authentic.

Social Native said it received extensive interest from investors in the wake of the company’s early success creating content for brands like Polaroid, Walgreens and General Motors.

“We’re pleased to see continued and growing interest in our technology across the globe,” says Social Native CEO David Shadpour, in a statement. “Brand’s are faced with the challenge of creating high volumes of personalized content to deliver relevant customer experiences, and prior to Social Native, this was a seemingly impossible task. It’s exciting to see the impact Social Native is having on the digital marketing landscape and the interest not just from brands, but also the investor community.”

The funding will enable Social Native to double down on their investment into the Content Optimization Engine and further the company’s mission of using technology to reimagine the creative industry while investing in sales and marketing to continue claiming market share.

“Brands are trying to keep up with the demand to create relevant customer experiences for all marketing channels,” said Jordan Levy, general partner at SoftBank Capital NY, in a statement. “This demand for personalized content has created a huge market opportunity for Social Native. They have the team, technology and vision needed to transform the industry. And now, the results. The company is producing astounding metrics for brands by automating the traditionally manual process of content creation.”

Two industry veterans invested in Social Native and later joined the executive team full time. They include Jeff Ragovin, chief growth officer at Social Native, who co-founded Buddy Media, which sold for $745 million to Salesforce, and Eytan Elbaz, chief strategy officer at Social Native, famed for co-creating AdSense that was bought by Google for $104 million.

“Social Native’s technology is unparalleled in content marketing,” said Jeff Ragovin, in a statement. “Not only have we completely automated the creative development process, but we’re building technology that will create a fundamental shift in how brands think about content creation.”

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