One Impression, an Indian influencer marketing platform that does business in markets such as Indonesia, Dubai, Europe and the US, has raised $10 million in a funding round led by South Korean gaming company Krafton.
The Gurugram-based startup is building an Amazon-like platform to help brands quickly find relevant influencers for their marketing campaigns. It touts having over 7 million content creators on the platform that brands ranging from FMCG to e-commerce can access. These creators include the micro ones who develop content from villages and tier 2 and tier 3 cities, as well as major celebrities and even Bollywood actors who generate over 100,000 pieces of content for over 500 brands in over 10 languages. The platform is also not limited to influencers from a certain genre and has creators in comedy, beauty, fashion and DIY, among others.
“We get the right price for every influencer, and as a platform, we make sure that as a brand you get the best match and the best price for every creator you work with,” said Apaksh Gupta, co-founder and CEO, One Impression, in an interview with australiabusinessblog.com.
Founded in 2018 by Gupta and his brother Jivesh Gupta, An impression works directly with content creators, agencies and agents to provide brands with a range of influencers that meet their requirements. This is unlike a traditional influencer marketing agency or creator discovery tool where you usually only find one source to choose from. Also, the startup offers full-stack solutions ranging from discovery, pricing and payments to compliance, government contracts, delivery and performance tracking.
“We bridge the gap between brands and makers. We try to make the partnerships between brands and makers as seamless, fast, repeatable and scalable,” said the director.
In addition to helping brands reach the right influencer, One Impression builds tools for creators to help them monetize their content and unlock opportunities to collaborate with other creators and make finance easier through automation. The startup is also working on tools to give creators easy access to studios across India and even PR opportunities, Gupta said.
Currently, One Impression has enabled its platform for Instagram and YouTube. It also plans to unlock it over time for LinkedIn and Moj in India and TikTok for global markets.
“As different platforms continue to become important for each market, we will continue to integrate those new platforms into our platform,” said Gupta.
One Impression takes a fee from brands to connect them with influencers and charges commissions to content creators that grow once the creators become more relevant to large-scale campaigns. This makes it a two-way marketplace for both brands and makers. It is also working on launching premium tools to offer brands a subscription-based model for regular earnings.
The Krafton-led Series A all-stock financing round also included Peer Capital. It valued the startup at $70 million post-money.
As to whether Krafton’s investment was strategic, Gupta told australiabusinessblog.com that the gaming giant has come as a financial investor.
“The creator ecosystem is on the verge of a revolution. It has huge untapped potential and we believe One Impression is in the right position to become a global leader in the influencer industry. One Impression has an ambitious vision for space and we are excited to support them on their journey,” said Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO of Krafton India, in a prepared statement.
As of 2021, Krafton has invested over $100 million in several Indian startups to become more than a gaming company. However, the company has had to deal with its highly popular game title Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) being banned in the country – just months after it struggled to bring back its original PUBG Mobile title, which will also be banned by the Indian government in 2020. was banned due to national security concerns.
“At Krafton, we are committed to the Indian market and see huge potential here. We have invested approximately $100 million in various Indian startups since 2021. And our investment in One Impression is a step toward increasing this ecosystem and creating growth opportunities,” Sohn said.
One Impression, which claims to have created a profitable business without marketing, plans to use the new funds to build a marketing team and scale up its sales force to expand its presence in global markets starting with Southeast Asia and the UAE. It also appears to be making acquisitions in Dubai to increase its market presence. The planned expansion is expected to help the startup grow its average revenue to $40 million.
In 2022, One Impression raised $1 million from angels including Lenskart’s Peeyush Bansal, People Group’s Anupam Mittal, and celebrities such as Olympian Neeraj Chopra and comedian Zakir Khan.