Marketing platform Zyper recently raised $6.5 million in Series A funding led by Talis Capital, Forerunner Ventures and Y Combinator. The investment comes at a time when many consumers are losing trust in influencers even though influencer marketing budgets continue to increase.

Founded by Made in Chelsea reality TV star Amber Atherton, Zyper connects brands with superfans instead of traditional influencers to drive engagement, insights and sales. It unites them on a single platform, which enables them to turn their passions into collaborations. Zyper uses computer vision and natural language processing to source the top 1% of the brand’s biggest organic fans on social channels and leverages them as brand advocates as opposed to paid influencers. It also looks at metrics such as engagement rate and comments. It invites the communities of fans to join advocacy campaigns where they can co-create user-generated content and build communities in exchange for various experiences or rewards. Brands can then message the fans, who provide feedback in the app.

Authentic connection with communities

Each Zyper brand community comprises around 500-1,000 advocates and clients include Topshop, Boden, Dior, and Magnum. Brands have access to a simple dashboard to view topline metrics, real-time feedback from the community, and the content created by the community. “Storytelling and transparency have become paramount for brands as consumers look to engage with them in a more authentic and unfiltered way. Zyper is creating an entirely new category of community-based brand advocacy that will drive sales and surface significant consumer insights,” said Amber Atherton, founder of Zyper. Allowing brands a direct connection with their community, Atherton doesn’t see professional influencers as a threat. She instead thinks that brands will create community-based teams that focus on building communities of users as the space evolves. She believes Zyper gives brands the opportunity for them to come together “authentically,” as opposed to finding an influencer that isn’t quite the right fit. “We believe every customer is an influencer,” commented Atherton. Zyper’s funding will go towards opening its headquarters in San Francisco and continuing to develop its predictive analytics engine and system algorithms. 

Will this shape influencer marketing partnerships as we know it? Let us know your thoughts on the platform and this new wave of brand advocacy in the comments section below.

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