Jellysmack, a startup that played a leading role in SoftBank Group Corp’s latest earnings presentation. with funding from the company Masayoshi Son, is preparing to step up its operations with acquisitions and global expansion.
The New York-based company helps online content creators and brands promote their offerings on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, taking a share of the revenue in return. It is now focusing on strengthening its operations in Europe, particularly in France, the United Kingdom and Germany, while also targeting Mexico, Brazil and India.
Jellysmack is also looking to invest or acquire companies that build the infrastructure for influencers and the social media economy, co-founder Michael Philippe said in an interview, without giving further details. Although he declined to disclose specific details of SoftBank’s investment, he said the money placed Jellysmack in the ranks of the unicorns – companies worth $ 1 billion or more.
SoftBank founder Son spent six minutes congratulating the start-up during its latest presentation of the results, calling it a “collective of creators of the 21st century.”
The social media ecosystem has flourished over the past few years, turning affable young YouTube personalities into multimillionaires. Gamers streaming their gaming sessions on Twitch and amateur choreographers on TikTok are already an integral part of the media regime of millions of people. A 2019 survey of children ages 8 to 12 commissioned by Lego found that children in the US, UK and China are three times more likely to want to become a YouTuber than an astronaut. It creates a lot of competition for just one person to stand out.
“We really believe that we are in a new designer revolution,” said Philippe. “The big challenge is that very few make a living from it. And talent is not enough.
Recommendation algorithms are the new gatekeepers and figuring out how to be successful on multiple platforms is taking too long for most social media personalities, he said. Jellysmack, whose 200-client list includes mega-stars PewDiePie and MrBeast, helps artists expand their revenue streams by tailoring their content to multiple outlets, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Jellysmack scans millions of video channels and uses machine learning to uncover promising new talent for hire. The company has developed its own rating system that takes into account content category, engagement, channel growth rate, and the size of its library. The use of artificial intelligence has become almost a mandatory feature of SoftBank’s investments in recent times, with Son emphasizing its importance for future technologies and breakthroughs.
The algorithms that decide what content rises to the top of internet platforms can be unfathomable, but there are certain rules of thumb for creating a hit, Philippe said. For example, getting the right thumbnail is key to success on YouTube, while reducing a 10-minute clip to three minutes helps it do better on Facebook, where retention in the first 30 seconds is key, he said. he declares. Jellysmack helps with editing, a major problem for content creators and a difficult part of the process to automate.
The company plans to spend half of the money it raised from SoftBank on global expansion and split the rest between investment in its technology and acquisitions, Philippe said. In March 2019, the company raised $ 6 million in a debt financing round, according to Crunchbase.
SoftBank earlier this month reported profit which was the highest for a Japanese publicly traded company thanks to a series of successful initial public offerings by holding companies including Coupang Inc. Philippe said that he expects Jellysmack to be possible in the next few years.
“Although we believe they could go public tomorrow in terms of the business model and finance, they still have substantial room for growth as a private company,” said Yanni Pipilis, managing partner of the branch of SoftBank investment, Vision Fund. “We strongly believe in favorable macro winds in this sector.”
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United States, Softbank, YouTube, social media, Facebook, startups, investments, Masayoshi Son, Instagram, Jellysmack, Michael Philippe