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 has positioned itself 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 works with top brands to find them low-cost and authentic content. In this 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.
So the company enlists people who create an enormous number of assets: the fans. Those fans currently don’t get paid for their authentic expressions of enthusiasm for a brand, and brands can select the kind of content they want, such as fans interacting with a new product.
Social Native uses its algorithms to identify creators, and then invites them to create content for the brand. Creators are always paid for the content they create, and this content is always created on demand, not found and surfaced for the brand.
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 were previously sharing for free, could be far less expensive, and their content could be a lot more effective because it’s so authentic.
Social Native said it received extensive interest from investors after its 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,” said 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 new funding will enable Social Native to double down on its investment in the Content Optimization Engine. It will also 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 [they have] the results. The company is producing astounding metrics for brands by automating the traditionally manual process of content creation.”
Two industry veterans who invested in Social Native later joined the executive team full time. One is Jeff Ragovin, chief growth officer at Social Native, who cofounded Buddy Media, which sold for $745 million to Salesforce. The other, Eytan Elbaz, chief strategy officer at Social Native, is famed for cocreating AdSense, which 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.”