Twitter has acquired Niche, an ad network that helps social media stars make money, for more than $US50 million in cash and stock, including employee retention incentives, multiple sources familiar with the deal tell Business Insider.
Niche had term sheets and was about to raise a new round of financing at a valuation that was around $US50 million when Twitter swooped in. The two companies had been working closely together, and Niche’s net revenue was expected to hit 8-figures this year.
Rob Fishman and Darren Lachtman co-founded Niche in late 2013. Fishman previously managed social media for The Huffington Post then sold a company, Kingfish Labs, to Buzzfeed in a stock deal.
He and Lachtman noticed individual followings on sites like Instagram and Vine were growing rapidly, and brands were interested in advertising on the platforms.So they launched Niche to become a a new type of advertising agency, connecting brands with influential people online. Vine and Instagram celebrities work with Niche’s advertising partners to promote their products in a natural way to their followers.
“I’m literally making a living off this,” one Vine star, Cody Johns, told Business Insider in March. One campaign he ran with Niche netted him roughly $US20,000.
Here’s more on Niche, and how it’s helping Vine stars (and ultimately Twitter now) generate a lot of advertising revenue.