Online marketing startup Hypetap has exited its beta stage with its platform boasting influencers that have a combined reach of 75 million followers.
The Melbourne-based startup connects brands and agencies with ‘influencers’ – social media users with a large following – to create marketing campaigns.
Hypetap launched in beta in December last year, allowing influencers, brands and agencies to request to sign up to the platform and if accepted, then browse the database to find a suitable match. Its database of influencers has doubled from 500 in March to over 1000 four months later.
Using online influencers in a marketing campaign is a growing trend in Australia and globally, with Australia’s top six bloggers now having a collective larger audience than the combined reach of the highest-selling magazine, newspaper and TV program, according to Brand Data.
Lessons from beta
Hypetap and co-founders Detch Singh and Nikhil Madhok say the beta stage helped them better mould the service to suit the needs of their users.
“A major change has been with the offering,” Singh says.
“The influencer market is still relatively nascent, so a lot of clients want more guidance. Now we use our platform on behalf of brands and manage entire campaigns end-to-end.”
This service is now offered for a standalone fee, along with a 12-month subscription model for agencies.
Brands that are already signed up to use the service include Uber, Nestle and Carlton & United Breweries.
Singh says the feedback, so far, has only been positive.
“Repeat customers are the sign that things are going well, and we’re seeing a lot of that,” he says. “It’s something agencies have seen direct returns from, and they’ve continued to use it.”
Accepted into the Melbourne Accelerator Program
Hypetap was also recently accepted into Melbourne University’s Melbourne Accelerator Program, which Madhok says has had two important benefits.
“The first is the mentors, they’ve been really fantastic and always willing to take the time to talk through the business,” he says.
“And the co-working space, where there’s the opportunity to talk through business process and challenges with other startups. They really do accelerate you.”
After the launch, the Hypetap team will be looking to shore things up in Australia, before moving to expand overseas.
“Our major focus is on the Asia-Pacific region,” Singh says.
“We’re focused on running and growing the business there at the moment. We plan on consolidating our position in Australia and then look to the rest of the region.”
The startup has been entirely bootstrapped by Singh and Madhok so far, but a funding round could be around the corner.
“Raising capital isn’t off the cards, but that’s something we’ll pay more attention to in the next few months,” Madhok says.