Krishna Subramanian can’t stop creating.
After dropping out of med school in the mid-2000s, he cofounded and sold three companies: Burrp!, BlueLithium, and Mobclix — the second two netting $US300 million and upwards of $US50 million respectively.
With both Mobclix and BlueLithium, Subramanian built successful ad networks.
Today, he’s tackling a different side of the advertising business that’s shot into the limelight in the last several years: influencer marketing.
As advertising dollars gush into digital (it will account for nearly half of all entertainment and media revenue by 2018), more brands see the upside of partnering with “influencers” — the Snapchat, Vine, and YouTube stars of the world — to make their messages more appealing to younger audiences.
That means getting their message out on social media streams that young people hang out on: More than 25 million people watched Snapchat’s “Snowpocalypse” Story this winter — that’s a larger audience than the 21 million watching NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
That’s why Subramanian launched Captiv8. The platform aims to streamline influencer marketing communication and analytics, making it easier for advertisers to tap into a new pool of talent, influencers to make money, and both sides to track the effects of posts and campaigns.
For example, a brand like Kellog could send a Vine star — like Zach King — a private message on Captiv8’s platform outlining the kind of campaign it’s looking for, complete will requirements and pricing.
If King accepted the offer, he could then submit the designated content through the site. Subramanian says Captiv8 has over 200 influencers on board so far.
Some influencers are already getting tremendous pay-outs — between $US20,000 to $US50,000 for a single 6 to 15 second post — and Subramanian expects Captiv8 to help generate those scenarios more often.
There are technically two platforms: the software-as-a-service analytics side, for which Captiv8 will charge a membership fee based on several different account tiers, from basic to enterprise — and the marketplace, where Captiv8 will take a cut of all successful media buys.
The SAAS portion caters to individual influencers and agencies that manage multiple influencers, and brands seeking to find new talent. For example, Influencers have access to data about where their audience comes from and can shoot messages to followers they have lost with easy, Captiv8-created templates. For advertisers, the platform provides data about campaign reach and its patent-pending pricing algorithm suggests payscales for various influencers based on their popularity and reach.
“Brands are spending real dollars [on these apps] — these are not test budgets,” Subramanian tells Business Insider via email. “Platforms are driving million dollar campaigns directly and influencers are making six figures a month — the rise of the Influencer is happening in 2015.”
Subramanian started building Captiv8 in January, but the platform just launched last week.