Hiip, a Vietnamese startup that uses social data and matching algorithms to connect brands with social media influencers, announced today it has raises a seed round of funding.
The lead investors in the company were 500 Startups and Cocoon Capital. The Singaporean fund Expara also followed its pre-seed investment and participated in the round. Finally, the company said it received money from some angel investors.
The amount of the deal was undisclosed.
The money will be used to upgrade the Hiip product as well as financing expansion within Vietnam and across Southeast Asia.
“We are happy to be backed by prominent international investors who believe in our vision and whose vast experience and networks can help us get to the next level,” said Phi Nguyen, the Co-founder and CEO of Hiip in a statement.
What does Hiip do?
The idea behind Hiip is to help companies find people who may be less famous than the celebrity social influencers, but have significant impact within their niche.
Brands visit the Hiip website and submit a request of what they are seeking. Hiip then analyses the information and brings the brand a suggestion of influencers. Then, the influencer offers their side of the deal (price, package etc.). If a deal is struck, Hiip takes a fee from both parties.
Hiip wants to bring data analytics into an industry that is largely based on superficial statistics and whether or not the brand ‘likes the person’. Its a subjective industry, which Hiip hopes to change.
Eddie Thai, a Partner at 500 Startups, explains the investment as such,
“Vietnamese consumers closely follow the tastes of influencers. Yet many advertisers have used these influencers bluntly: charge companies exorbitant commissions to connect with the influencers who have the largest following, matching-be-damned. Hiip represents the next generation of influencer marketing: data-driven connections to tell stories,” he said in a statement.