After closing a $3.2 million funding round last December, Sydney-based tech innovator Q83 is building on its recent success by launching the Kitly Creator Network, a platform bringing together Australia's talent agencies and independent creators into one centralised database.
Aimed at tackling the problem of inactive databases, which typically hold inaccurate scraped data from public social media sites, the network’s solution ensures creators are active and in-market for partnerships.
Operating on a subscription-based model for talent agencies, brands, and marketing agencies and providing free access to creators, the platform incorporates secure access to the talent's audience demographics and performance insights on social content, such as Instagram stories that update in real-time.
"There's been a lot of blood, sweat and tears, like every startup, but it's been fun, we've learned a lot, and we've had some really good support," Q83 founder and managing director Anthony Richardson tells Business News Australia.
"It's important for talent agencies to be able to have their talents displayed within a secure network; the alternative is that brands use scrapped data which often cuts agents out of the conversation, meaning they miss out on pitching their talent.
"For the independent talent, they also find it difficult as they don't get a say in how they're pitched; it's almost as if your resume was on a jobs board, but you had no say in what went into the detail of the resume."
Founded in 2019, the company initially provided influencers with a way to connect their social media accounts and prove their engagement rate by removing unauthentic or fake followers.
Richardson came up with the idea after he tried to scale his fitness equipment company through influencer marketing but was unable to legitimately quantify the value of how much an influencer would bring to his brand.
From primarily concentrating on a small piece of the influencer marketing problem, the company has evolved significantly, launching Kitly and Kitly Business in August 2020.
Talent agencies like Simone Landes' The Lifestyle Suite, Roxy Jacenko's Ministry of Talent, One Management, Talent Ink and Mumpower are just some of the 16,000 creators who have joined Kitly in the past six months to tap into Q83's media kit builder, campaign management, invoicing, and reporting tools.
"Professional content creators and influencers are unquestionably powerful drivers of marketing strategy, but finding and connecting with the right talent efficiently can be a struggle for many businesses and marketing agencies," Richardson says.
"Kitly Creator Network was made to streamline this process so that marketers and brands are able to quickly source pre-authenticated managed and independent talent. Brands will have instant access to thousands of influencers and be able to shortlist and report on them all from the same platform."
With a team of five based in Sydney and London, Kitly Creator Network expands on this offering through a comprehensive media kit and a substantial suite of tools for creatives to manage their business.
"Imagine agents looking for a property before Realestate.com existed as a centralised database," Richardson explains as a comparison to the new platform.
"Our goal, now we've just launched the Kitly Creator Network - the first network within Australia that combines managed independent talent, is to allow brands and marketers to browse a wide selection of active talents on one platform, which really creates some efficiency for their workflows."
Designed to unlock social media data, the Kitly Creator Network creates transparency for brands and offers real-time reporting data and integrated business tools.
"The influencer marketing is becoming a staple in every marketing strategy; we're starting to see a lot of startups start to implement it," Richardson says.
"There are some billion-dollar companies that use the process as pretty much the bread and butter of their marketing campaigns from inception, and now they're valued at billions - GymShark is a perfect example of that.
"I think a lot of startups now, especially in the e-commerce space, are starting to use influencer marketing more and more, and they need the tools to be able to manage that and see what's worked and what hasn't worked and understand why that's the case – and that's what we provide."
Driving the adoption of the new network is the next priority, which will set the business up in good stead as it hopes to go into its Series A round in the next six to eight months.
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