Bounty raises $5M to help brands connect with TikTok creators – The Business Journals

Brands are lining up to get exposure from creators on TikTok via the Bounty app, and the startup just closed a $5 million seed round that it will use to get more brands on board.
The seed round was led by M13. Also participating were existing investors Sugar Capital and Interlace Ventures, as well as founders and executives from Rothy’s, Fabletics and Stack Commerce.
This brings the total amount Bounty has raised to more than $6 million. Angel investors like Brian Norgard and Babak Nivi have also backed the startup.
Bounty is building the infrastructure — via Shopify — to help brands scale creator partnerships on social media, starting with TikTok.
TikTok is an enticing destination for customer acquisition, with ad revenue on its platform expected to triple to $12 billion this year.
And, with Bounty, anyone can participate and create a video promoting a certain product or service. You don’t have to be invited to be an influencer, as many other companies require.
Abe Wolke created Bounty last year in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy updates. These gave Apple users more control over data shared with third-party apps.
Wolke saw the new updates as detrimental to the entire digital advertising market, which at that time was valued at $350 billion.
And, he was running into roadblocks on Facebook advertising with companies he co-founded, as well.
The two direct-to-consumer companies he had already co-founded — Hemplete and Coinmine — were prohibited from advertising on Facebook due to the nature of their industries. Hemplete is is a hemp protein bar company. Coinmine is a consumer cryptocurrency mining device.
So, he instead focused his attention on working with creators to drive growth for brands and help them navigate the new advertising landscape.
“We didn’t realize how easy marketers had it until Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy updates made Facebook ads ineffective,” Wolke said. “We were forced to find alternative solutions, like influencer marketing, and find other ways to diversify beyond Facebook, which is how I started working on Bounty.”
In March, the first merchant, Doe Lashes, launched in a closed beta. There are now about 30 brands participating in the beta, with 600 more on the waitlist. And, over 12,000 creators have signed up.
Creators typically find out about Bounty while shopping. They have the option to sign up for Bounty after completing a purchase at any participating online store. The company has thousands of creators making content, with an average of 1.5 videos per creator.
Month-over-month, creator earnings have gone up 200%, with top creators earning more than $3,000 per month, according to the company.
Bounty plans to open up the beta to the general public during the first week of September.
How It Works
Bounty uses Shopify to distribute its software to their merchants. Once a merchant installs the app, they select their subscription and monthly budget, and then follow the self-onboarding guide to activate the customer process on their websites.
Brands pay a subscription fee and service fees, based on the amount of content and reach they drive each month. The subscription fee ranges from $99 to $1,000-plus per month. Service fees start at 25% on the lowest plan.
What’s unique about Bounty is that once content is created on TikTok, brands can then license the videos and use them as commercials, so the creators can earn royalties. Typically, influencers only get free products.
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