From the Influencers

Tribe Clears $5 Million in Series A, Plans to Take its Influencer Act on the Road

September 15, 2016

With influencer marketing becoming an ever-increasing part of the picture for marketing—being one of the last forms of marketing that users will actually seek out and interact with—it's not surprising that businesses in this sector are drawing significant interest and investment. Melbourne's Tribe proved as much recently with an over-subscribed Series A funding round that brought in just over $5 million for the company, ahead of plans to go for a major international expansion.

Tribe works with influencers that have between 5,000 and 100,000 followers, dubbed “citizen influencers,” which is something of an underrepresented market these days. Started by James Lund, a TV and radio host, Tribe gives brands the opportunity to work with influencers to create content to share with followers. It's a two-sided marketplace, and a format that's becoming increasingly popular these days.

The funding was led by Exto Partners, who actually put funding behind a similar measure recently in Airtasker, a similarly two-sided marketplace platform. With an over-subscribed round, Tribe could be choosy about the investors it brought on board, and so it focused on those investors who could be helpful in other ways later on.

From here, Tribe plans to expand into at least two and potentially three new markets, while also developing some new products in the process. That combination should help them not only have enough to address current demand, but also seek out new sources of demand to provide supply, providing something of a critical-mass reaction as new supply comes into play at the right rate to address demand as it grows. Tribe even recently completed a study of 53 different markets in a bid to find the markets most likely to be worthwhile expansion targets.

This deliberate growth strategy has served the company well, with 20 percent month-to-month growth seen over the last six months, even for revenue. With over 500 brands and 9,000 companies partnered with the group, Tribe has a lot going for it to take to an international expansion.

Essentially, Tribe is demonstrating how to expand, for anyone who cares to take the lesson. It's starting simply, addressing local demand, and then looking for fundraising capabilities to move into other markets. That slow, deliberate expansion builds on previous successes and makes sure that every step forward has support under it, making it unlikely that the firm will ever fall through support at some level. It may make expansion slow, but it also makes it solid, and solid expansion tends to generate excellent results in the long term.

Influencer marketing is an excellent long-term approach concept to take. Since users aren't likely to stop seeking out content any time soon, influencer marketing will likely still prove to be a worthwhile concept even in the future. Companies like Tribe will likely be there in the future as well, providing value for those who want to invest one way or the other. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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