20FOUR exec on listing on the ASX and the future of influencer marketing

20FOUR exec on listing on the ASX and the future of influencer marketing

It's been just two years since 20FOUR was created, but the platform is already targeting an ASX listing.

Sports social content platform, 20FOUR, has taken off rapidly and has secured 10 million eyes on its content generated by sporting heroes.

Now, 20FOUR is looking to list on the ASX via an RTO in Q2 CY18. The company is looking to raise a minimum of $1.2 million which will see 20FOUR reach a valuation of $20 million.

20FOUR's experiment in the realm of social influencers provides fans with personalised and interactive access to their favourite sports stars via an app-based or web platform.

The app monetizes its influencers and instead of bombarding users with banner ads and pre-roll, brands neatly integrate with the athletes to ensure the sport person's story can be told and advertising is naturally  meshed with the sports star's personal brand.

Currently 20FOUR has signed over 200 leading athletes which post exclusive content and personal stories to inspire 20FOUR's users. Prominent athletes on the platform include rugby league stars Billy Slater and  Benji Marshall and AFL players Alex Rance, Tex Walker, and Joel Selwood.

High profile brands like Netflix, Reece, Air New Zealand, and MJ Bale have already signed up as advertisers.

Business News Australia spoke to Chris Haigh, CEO of 20FOUR, and Anthony Dunlop, executive director of Chapmans Limited (ASX: CHP) about the ASX listing, the future of the app, and how the company managed to take off. Chapmans has a 39 per cent direct equity interest in 20FOUR.

20FOUR was only founded two and a half years ago - why is right now the moment to list the company on the ASX?

ANTHONY DUNLOP: The business has now been in market for 12 months, it's got critical mass in terms of its many assets - those being professional athletes - and we're post revenue, so we're looking for expansion capital. It's an obvious pivot point to tap a public capital market for growth capital.

What do you want to do with the $1.2 million you hope to raise by listing?

DUNLOP: We'll be using that for further expansion primarily in the Australian marketplace. The capital will be put to work with athletes for media content campaigns.

Why do you think 20FOUR has seen such massive success?

HAIGH: 20FOUR is really grounded in two things. One is the quality of athletes we work with. Second, is the quality of the content that we make. We see both of those things coming together to solve a shortcoming of the market - that being the availability of these athletes to the big brand market.

DUNLOP: We're not the first to enter the influencer market, but we're not really into ads like pre-roll or clickbait. We're more about helping athletes share their stories and develop relationships with brands and fans. We are also providing content that is entertaining and emotionally charged for fans, so we want to align with that. We do a number of things that are very different to app based business and influencer marketing.

Chris, you've previously headed up some big organisations like Foxtel in the past - what did you see in 20FOUR that capture your interest?

HAIGH: Fox Sports has been very powerful, live sport being one of the few things a traditional broadcasting model does really well. But through my experience you eventually see which parts of the market are growing and where the opportunities are. I think the strength in this model and what 20FOUR is doing, which is taking a very progressive approach to what's a very fast emerging part of the market, is what attracted me. Right now everyone's watching content on their mobiles, but the content isn't the key - it's how you monetize that. It's not just the fact that we want to make short form media because everyone wants to watch it, it's the uniqueness and appeal that 20FOUR's focused on and how we monetize it that has seen us have success.

What's the future of 20FOUR?

HAIGH: I think short term our focus is around scale - we want to do more of it. We've worked with some great brands and great athletes and made great content, but now we have to continue to get our name out there. The people the work with us love us, and I want to broaden our network and our sphere. In the long term we want to replicate our model in different verticals and different geographies.

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