"Billo", a community marketing platform for brands, has secured a financial injection amounting to an almost €500 thousand. In the pre-seed investment round, the Lithuanian startup attracted investments from "Open Circle Capital", "70Ventures" and SOSV funds.
The platform enables brands to transform brand fans into an interactive community that creates content, advocates, gives feedback – and gets paid for it. "Billo" co-founders Tadas Deksnys and Donatas Smailys say that the global changes in the marketing industry inspired them to create this platform.
"We connect brands with their real users. This is especially relevant now as influencer marketing is in decline, and marketers turn to authentic content. "Billo" is an alternative that allows to develop community marketing, add quality, build trust, and grow their base of authentic brand advocates",
says T. Deksnys, the CEO of “Billo".
With "Billo", brands create and assign bespoke tasks for existing customers. Community members see these tasks in the Billo.app, complete them, and get paid for their work automatically.
According to the "Open Circle Capital" fund, the decision to invest was not difficult, as the company not only successfully develops an innovative tool in a fast-growing market but also manages to achieve all the development results in a timely and efficient manner.
"Their list of international customers, including "Microsoft", "Philips", and "Nestle", has made a big impression on us. We also love the team: its core is professionals who have experience both in the social media industry and in the fast-paced startup environment", adds Rokas Tamošiūnas, a Partner of "Open Circle Capital”.
adds Rokas Tamošiūnas, a Partner of "Open Circle Capital”.
Prior to "Billo", T. Deksnys and D. Smailys developed "Unboxed Network", a brand that focused on content created by micro/nano influencers. As they have noticed the demand for user generated content, Deksnys and Smailys turned to community marketing and started "Billo", an innovative platform for marketing experts.
Venture capital fund and business accelerator "70 Ventures" interest in "Billo" has grown once they realized the company's potential to develop B2B sales in foreign markets. "70 Ventures" also agrees with "Open Circle Capital", emphasizing the fact that international clients and companies that are already working with "Billo" adds even more credibility to the platform and helps them to establish their name in the international market.
In the near future, "Billo" is planning to test and implement the product in the European market. Platform developers see a strong potential in the platform's functionality that allows brands to personalize tasks according to their needs. That can be anything from the creation of specific content, testing new products, or simply engaging employees in employer branding.
"There are several types of tasks on our platform that allow brands to receive visual content and get private feedback and recommendations on their product. We are currently conducting market tests in Europe to understand what "Billo" users value the most in their collaboration with their communities", comments D. Smailys.
"Billo" is a community marketing platform that allows brands to interact with their user community by creating and assigning a variety of tasks. Community members see these tasks in the Billo.app, complete and upload them for brands to further use it for promotion, marketing and business development.
"Open Circle Capital" manages a €20 million fund and invests in Lithuanian companies that develop high-tech products. The fund was established by implementing the financial initiative of the Ministry of Economics and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, "Ankstyvosios stadijos ir plėtros fondas I". "Invega" provided the fund with €13.8 million.
Venture capital fund and business accelerator "70 Ventures" manages nearly €8 million and invests in early-stage Lithuanian companies that offer SaaS services. "70 Ventures" was established under the "Akceleravimo Fondas" program and is mostly funded by "Invega".