UiPath billionaire Daniel Dines invests in Romanian micro-influencer platform
Romanian startup FameUp (fameup.net) has raised EUR 2.5 million financing to develop its mobile platform dedicated to micro-influencers and prepare for global scaling. UiPath co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines participated in this financing round as an angel investor, alongside Bogdan Gheorghiu and Marian Dinu.
Romanian venture capital fund Early Game Ventures, funded mostly through the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020, led the financing round.
FameUp allows any Instagram user (soon also Facebook and Tik-Tok), with at least 500 followers, to make money by promoting various brands, products, or services. The platform aims to facilitate the contact between smaller influencers and brands and democratize the access to the promotion contracts reserved until today only to the influencers with tens of thousands of followers.
"FameUp is a platform open to anyone, not just celebrities," says Ionut Patrascoiu, founder and CEO of FameUp. "We also give the possibility to those with a small number of followers on the social platforms Instagram, Facebook, or Tik-Tok to participate in promotion campaigns and to earn a substantial income. From this perspective, our startup is part of the gig economy, along with other technology companies such as Uber, Airbnb, or Glovo.”
New communication channel for small brands
The application also aims to become an alternative communication channel for small brands and family businesses, which do not have large promotion budgets. Small businesses such as cafes, restaurants, hair salons, and travel agencies can get promotion on social networks with little or no money, offering in return products or services such as a cappuccino or a manicure for a post made by a local influencer.
“The relevance and authenticity of these posts are much higher than those made by celebrities that are sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles away. And this can be seen in the immediate sales results," Patrascoiu explains.
The Romanian entrepreneur says the idea to develop this app came after talking to Daniel Dines, who he calls his mentor.
Servers crashed on launch
The FameUp application, currently in Beta, is free and available on the App Store and Google Play. When it was officially launched in June, a spike in downloads and registrations caused its servers to fail.
"Lately, the number of startups that aim to build marketplace platforms has exploded. This is even though few founders understand how complicated such a business model is. What I saw valuable at FameUp, apart from the obvious market opportunity, is the impressive growth hacking strategy. In the coming months, we will help Ionut develop his team and product so that the mechanisms for growth and networking can be enhanced, without the servers blowing up again," said Cristian Munteanu, the Managing Partner of Early Game Ventures.
Law firm DLA Piper provided legal assistance for the transaction.
(Photo source: the company)