See the original story in Japanese.
Tokyo-based influencer marketing startup Tagpic announced in December that it has fundraised an undisclosed sum in a series A round from Nissay Capital and several angel investors including Shigeru Urushibara, the CEO of Tokyo-based consulting firm / cloud solution provider ULS Group (TSE:3798). Nissay Capital is the investment arm of a Japan’s leading insurance company.
The funds were paid on December 25th but the other details, including the amount of money raised or the percentage of issued shares, haven’t been disclosed. In the meantime, the company announced the addition of Shuichi Takenaga, CEO of Aucfun (TSE:3674) and a specialist in big data, as an outside adviser.
Founded in September 2015, Tagpic has been offering influencer marketing targeting 8.1 million Instagram monthly active users in Japan using famous personalities (so-called Instagrammers), such as amateur models, TV personalities and artists.
Its main business is casting, introduces and mediates Instagrammers who match the marketing measures requested by companies. Tagpic has casted about 670 Instagrammers until now. According to CEO Ayumi Yasuoka, most of them are amateur models.
Those networking Instagrammers are followed by a total of 10.8 million people. They can make use of their influence for promoting brands. In addition, Yasuoka has worked in the apparel industry in addition to being an amateur model and an Instagrammer. She says that this experience helps her now when she does the casting.
Since the launch back in September, we’ve been working with about 30 ad agencies. We mainly use Line for communicating with Instagrammers. Because it is easy for them to communicate through Line, and there’s a knack in creating relationships with them.
On the other hand, they will end up being a simple small casting agency by continuing to work with this analog method. Therefore they are thinking of making a database of Instagrammers.
Because people don’t possess much information on amateur model Instagrammers, we are developing a database called Caspic (spelling not confirmed), dedicated to casting Instagrammers. We still haven’t upgraded all the information, such as who has big eyes or who plays sports. This data is mainly used inside our company. Yet we are thinking of releasing it to other agencies later on.
After upgrading the information on the Caspic, the company can continue casting amateur models even if there are problems on the Instagram platform or changes of rules, for example. She expects it will also reduce dependence on the platform to a minimum.
Translated by Mariko Kobayashi via Mother First
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy and Masaru Ikeda