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Berlin-based Brandnew IO wants to connect brands with influential users on photo-sharing networks. The startup just announced a six-digit seed round to help it get started. The funding comes from investors in the digital advertising industry, including Oygo CEO Christoph Wilke, Clipkit founder Cengiz Kurt, and an undisclosed marketing services group, among others.

Brandnew IO, founded earlier this year by Francis Trapp and Malte Münchert, is currently only available for Instagram and Pinterest. The fresh funding will be used to further develop the product and acquire new brand clients. Trapp said in an interview today that the company is looking to extend Brandnew IO beyond photo-sharing communities, perhaps into networks such as Tumblr or Snapchat.

How it works: post photo, get paid

“Publishers” (influential users of photo-sharing platforms, usually those with more than 100,000 followers) can earn money by sharing brand photos. While there’s no formal pricing structure for advertisers, Trapp said they would pay depending on the nature of the campaign, overall influence of publishers, and type of photo used by the brand. 

Rivals for Brandnew IO include Boulder-headquartered TapInfluence, which connects marketers with online influencers and also allows social influencers to generate revenue from sharing content, and influence marketing tool Traackr.

Is the current focus on Instagram and Pinterest too narrow a market? Trapp said that he’s spoken to many advertisers who were looking to implement a campaign on Instagram but could find no easy way to do it.

That might be about to change. With more than 150 million active monthly users, Instagram is still looking for a way to turn a profit – but Instagram’s Director of Business Operations Emily White recently told the Wall Street Journal that the photo-sharing giant should be ready to start selling ads within the next year.

This story originally appeared on VentureVillage. Copyright 2013

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