Updated: Dec 28, 2018
Built on IBM Watson, the Venture backed startup looks reinvent the world social influencer marketing.
Props, a content marketing platform built using Artificial Intelligence technology from IBM, announced Thursday an initial $5 million round meant to help launch its flagship product. The latest round was lead by various investors including Axispoint and Hari Ravichandran, CEO, and founder of Jump Ventures.
What sets Props apart from other similar platforms is that the company uses its platform to bring brands to the table to sponsor the creation and distribution of content from writers, filmmakers, etc. Without the brands having a direct say in the actual creative process. Props also provides tools for content management and distribution.
The platform brings all tools needed by content creators and social influencers, tools like SEO management and measurement features and the incorporation of various social media networks.
“We do not engage in branded content—we don’t require any creators on our platform to mention a brand in the content,” said Props president and CEO Joseph Perello. “For example, if a creator writes a piece about a motorcycle trip up the Pacific Coast Highway—which is something we’re doing—and that content appears on their blog, it’s going to say, ‘Brought to you by Taylor Stitch’ … But Taylor Stitch does not say, ‘You have to wear our shirt, you have to drive by our offices’—none of that.”
Stitch is one of Prop's first marketing brand partners. The San Francisco-based men’s clothing retailer is looking for ways to better distribute and measure the effectiveness of its content marketing dollars, according to CEO Michael Maher.
“It makes it so you’re not necessarily just throwing something out there and saying, ‘Oh man, this dude’s got like 200,000 followers—let’s do this.’ Every modern marketer has fallen into that trap where you think it seems like a safe bet, but you end up thinking, ‘That did not do what I expected it to,'” said Brian Larson, Taylor Stitch’s head of brand marketing. “With analytics, you’re stacking the deck in your favor.”