Influencer tech platform Tribe eyes international expansion entry after $5m capital raising

Influencer marketing technology platform Tribe is eyeing international expansion after a $5.4m round of capital raising from investors, with Singapore likely to be the first port of call.

Tribe logo

The company, founded by TV and radio personality Jules Lund, has explored and compiled data on 53 markets with the UK, Germany, France, Ireland and Brazil also high on the priority list.

The capital raising, which brings the total investment in Tribe to $8m, was handled by Sydney venture capital fund Exto Partners while existing investors and wealthy individuals have also come on board.

Chief executive Anthony Svirskis said the board will now crunch the numbers with a view to launching internationally in early 2017.

“Timing is critical in that it’s such a fast moving space, so we wanted to be sure we have the opportunity to capitalise on the strong, early traction in Australia and take our product to new markets,” he said.

“We’ll get a list of the top 10 or 20 markets and within the next month we’ll have a really good road map and be looking to be up and running in new markets by early 2017.

“It might be staged so we might start with one and then move into others, but the idea behind this capital raising is to be in more than two markets. We want to be in three different markets, three different regions, with the ability to spread beyond that.

Tribe CEO: Svirskis

Svirskis: “We want to be in three different markets, three different regions, with the ability to spread beyond that”

“Because of the product we have built we already deal with international clients and influencers, the platform can be used widely and not constricted by the boundaries of Australia.”

Svirskis said Tribe employed Bain & Company to analyse several key metrics in each market, including social media spend, growth potential, ease of conducting business and the competitive landscape.

“We don’t want very mature markets, so the US would probably be out, but neither do we want a state of zero competition,” he said. “Competition creates an infrastructure and market education, so if a market has early stage players we won’t discount that.”

He identified parts of Asia – Singapore, in particular – some European markets and Latin America as markets that could work.

Svirskis insisted management was mindful of the need not to expand too rapidly and stressed it was not about to lose focus in Australia.

“We are not going to take our foot off the accelerator in our home market,” he said. “We are ahead of our expectations, and in every early stage business there is the challenge of balancing your position in your home market and the strength of your tech product, versus how quickly you expand.

“If you don’t get that balance right and you over-invest it can be detrimental to the business, and we are aware of that.”

Svirskis said Tribe has worked with more than 500 brands since launch and has more than 4500 influencers on its books. It has already attracted overseas interest, he added.

“Every day we have influencers, brands and agencies contact us from around the world wanting to utilise our platform. While the demand is encouraging, our investment decisions will always be supported by quantifiable metrics,” Svirskis said.


Tribe founder Jules Lund

Plans to expand beyond Australia’s shores comes just 12 months after Lund launched Tribe, saying the connection economy has provided “the greatest opportunity in history to drive word-of-mouth marketing at scale”.

“Traction has been beyond expectations, with 20% month-on-month revenue growth, driven predominantly by word-of-mouth,” Svirskis said, who added Tribe expects to pay out more than $1m to Australian influencers this year. Tribe takes a 20% revenue cut.

In June, Tribe was named Mumbrella’s Advertising Technology Company of the Year.


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