Influencer marketing platform One Impression raises $10 mn from Krafton-led funding round

15th March 2023
Influencer marketing platform One Impression raises $10 mn from Krafton-led funding round

Influencer marketing platform One Impression announced on March 15 that it raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by South Korean gaming giant Krafton, showing interest. Investors in the booming creative economy have increased dramatically.

The startup raised $1 million in seed capital from angel investors like Lenskart founder Peeyush Bansal, People Group CEO Anupam Mittal and celebrities like Olympic athletes: Neeraj Chopra and comedian Zakir Khan in January 2022.

One Impression plans to use the funds raised to expand its presence in international markets starting in Southeast Asia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and invest in developing products to expand its offering. Proceeds will also go towards the company's sales and marketing initiatives.

"So far, our entire business has been built organically, so we haven't spent a dime on marketing until now. But now that our product has matured, we will invest aggressively in sales and marketing. We will expand our sales team to about 50-70 people," One Impression chief executive Apaksh Gupta 

Gupta said they would also look at acquiring smaller companies in the space, both in Indian and international markets, to expand to new markets. "We would rather prefer acquiring a smaller company and entering the market faster than having to build everything from ground zero," he said.

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Founded by brothers Apaksh Gupta and Jivesh Gupta in 2018, One Impression offers brands access to relevant creators from over seven million worldwide, ranging from top celebrities to nano influencers, to drive growth with influencer-led initiatives. The platform also helps brands set prices for creators, deliver campaigns, and track real-time campaign performance.

The ultimate aim of the Gurugram-based startup is to create a comprehensive influencer marketing platform that will help businesses plan and test their large-scale influencer campaigns. Gupta says it supports YouTube and Instagram with plans to integrate platforms like LinkedIn.

"We believe technology will bring the next growth stage to the creator ecosystem. The ecosystem lacks a structured foundation, and our products will support speed, scale, science and technology. Learning and reliability for all industry stakeholders," Gupta said.

The platform claims it deals with tens of thousands of creators ranging from top celebrities to nano-influencers creating over 100,000 pieces of content for over 500 brands in over ten languages. Some brands include Unilever, Amazon, Meesho, Myntra, Mamaearth, Zomato and Cetaphil. One Impression aims to reach $40 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) by 2024, the company said in a statement.

Phyllo, a startup building a data portal to access creator data directly from multiple platforms like YouTube and Instagram, has also raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by RTP Global. Leads in August 2022. Meanwhile, entertainment and digital technology company JetSynthesys has acquired a majority stake in Fanory, a creator monetization startup led by a former Twitter India exec. Degree Manish Maheshwari was co-founded in January 2022.

"The creator ecosystem is on the cusp of a revolution. It holds huge untapped potential, and we believe One Impression is well-positioned to become a global leader in the influencer industry. One Impression has an ambitious vision for space, and we are delighted to support them on their journey," said Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn.

Krafton, the maker of popular games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) and an Indian version called Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), has pumped around $100 million into startups India since 2021.

Its investments include mobile game development studio Nautilus Mobile and Lila Games, game streaming platform Loco, e-sports company Nodwin Gaming, Indian-language storytelling platform Pratilipi, platform audio content platform Kuku FM and audio romance and friendship discovery startup FRND.

That said, it's the company's first new investment in an Indian startup after failing in India last year, with BGMI pulling out of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in December. July 2022, by order of the interim government.

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