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Australian influencer and content platform Vamp raises $8.5 million funding round led by Investec, appoints new CEO

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Gill Findlay, CEO Vamp
Gill Findlay, CEO Vamp

Vamp, an Australian startup that connects global brands with influential content creators, has secured $8.5 million in a funding round, led by Investec through its Investec Emerging Companies Fund I (IEC Fund I). Vamp will use the capital to scale its self-serve platform and accelerate its transition into a technology marketing company.

The raise exceeded Vamp’s target of $5-8M and included funding from existing investor Perennial, new investors The Thorney Investment Group and SpringCapital, as well as the Investec Emerging Companies Fund I.

The cash injection will enable Vamp to build a solid recurring revenue stream and strengthen its capitalisation table, repaying short term debt. The platform Vamp has developed – and used internally to achieve more than 75% growth year-on-year – will now be offered to Vamp’s existing global customer base.

The platform launch opens up new customer segments for Vamp. It provides an affordable option for smaller agencies and brands to generate high-quality social content from Vamp’s invite-only creator community.

The funding follows a successful year for Vamp. FY2019 revenues reached over $10M, up 75% on the prior financial year, and Gill Findlay joined as CEO. Gill spent the previous four years scaling up Australia’s most recent SaaS unicorn, SafetyCulture, as COO.

What does this funding mean for Vamp?

Gill Findlay commented: “I am delighted to close this funding round and have the support of our new investors with the follow on investment from Perennial, particularly during the current climate.

“High-performing social advertising is more important than ever. Brands need to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on their customers, who are spending more time engaging with social content and buying online. Currently, brands have access to more creators and can achieve up to 60% more reach for the same spend. Vamp’s recent campaigns have greatly exceeded expectations, achieving up to 30x return on ad spend.”

Karen Chan, Investec Emerging Companies said: “We strongly believe in the growth opportunities for Vamp. They offer brands scalable, high-quality content that outperforms and disrupts traditional content in an increasingly digital and social world.”

“Our investment in Vamp is consistent with our strategy of partnering with strong founders building high-growth companies. Founders Aaron Brooks and Ben McGrath have successfully grown the company from idea to a $10M revenue business and we look forward to helping Gill and the team take the company into the next phase of growth.”

The investment will see Ben Sebel, Co-Manager of the IEC Fund I from Investec join the Vamp Board. Andrew Wheater will also join Vamp as Finance Director in May. Andrew brings strong digital media experience gained across Asia, Europe and the US. Both additions will strengthen the leadership bench at Vamp.

Why has Vamp attracted this funding?

Since its establishment in 2015, Vamp has focussed on delivering high-return on marketing investment for clients including Facebook, Estée Lauder, Huawei, Adobe and Williams Sonoma, achieving award-winning results. 

As an official Marketing Partner of Facebook and Instagram since 2017, Vamp was invited to enter Facebook’s APAC Innovation Challenge. Vamp won the challenge with a campaign for West Elm, Williams Sonoma, delivering a 43x return on ad spend.

Vamp was also awarded the Best Influencer Marketing Campaign at the Ewards, for a campaign with Adobe Lightroom. Vamp’s strategy achieved a cost per download less than $1 and seven times lower than the industry average.

Vamp was founded when influencer marketing was still in its infancy. As both have proved their effectiveness, Vamp and the industry have matured together. Since its inception, Vamp has grown on average 100% year-on-year and the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $15B by 2022.  

This funding and client demand allows Vamp to continue its growth journey towards becoming the most recommended influencer and content generation platform; where brands, big and small, can connect with the world’s best social creators.

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