With Instagram like counts set to disappear in the U.S. and globally over the coming weeks, marketers are looking for better ways to justify their investment in the soon-to-be $15 billion Influencer Marketing industry.
Lumanu, a leading provider of technology to the influencer industry, couldn’t have picked a better time to announce a new $2 million round led by Capital Midwest Fund with participation from Northwestern Mutual Cream City Ventures and Johnsonville. The round brings Lumanu’s total funding to $3.7 million.
Lumanu’s influencer-first technology, enables the secure sharing of digital assets like data and advertising permissions between influencers and marketers. Using Lumanu, marketers at brands like Rent the Runway and Savage x Fenty have unified the outputs of their influencer, ambassador, and even affiliate programs into one unified media channel -- leading to better attribution and performance.
"Influencer marketing is an amazing channel for content and awareness, but it's also rapidly maturing into a true performance media channel. Lumanu helped to pioneer the shift and as a result, have built technology that makes this channel effective and safe for both advertisers and influencers," Alicianne Rand, Vice President, Growth Marketing at Rent the Runway.
“While some people think of influencer as a means to get brand awareness and engagement, smart marketers know that influencer marketing is a very strong acquisition channel,” said Jennine Matthias, Director of Influencer Marketing at Savage x Fenty. “Lumanu built a technology that helps make it easier to get the most out of influencer partnerships and really scale influencer spend.”
Unlike traditional influencer marketers, Lumanu clients measure success in terms of traditional performance metrics like CAC (customer acquisition costs) and RoAS (return on ad spend). Lumanu made a bet this was where the industry was heading, and now that social engagement metrics are on the decline and at risk of disappearing altogether, it looks like the bet is paying off.
Lumanu will use the new funds to extend its platform by building additional solutions geared at helping talent managers and influencers take better ownership of their digital assets.
“It’s crazy to me that influencers are basically media companies, yet have little ownership over their own digital assets,” said Tony Tran, CEO and Co-Founder of Lumanu. “Digital assets are more than just creative assets -- it’s also data, earned through years of content engagement. Some influencers have more assets than traditional publishers like Vogue, yet have no way to unlock its value. We want Lumanu to be a true partner for influencers and their managers as they evolve from content creators to bonafide media companies and, in some cases, their own brands.”
The new capital comes on the heels of Lumanu being recognized by Facebook as a Premium Partner. To qualify as a Premium Partner, the highest partnership tier, Lumanu has demonstrated an exceptional track record of client success and media volume. With offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, Lumanu is also using the new funds to open and rapidly grow its presence in New York City.
“Lumanu is bringing pioneering technology to an evolving influencer marketing space, where savvy brands are now cultivating deeper relationships with influencers. As the industry matures into a true media channel, Lumanu is playing a pivotal role in bringing more standardization and transparency to the space. We are excited to be partnering with Lumanu and have great expectations for the company’s future,” remarked Steve Einhorn, General Partner at Capital Midwest Fund.