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Brand in a Blink: Raj Shamani’s House of X Promises Rapid Creation for Creators!

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Founded in September 2022 by Raj Shamani and Neeraj Kumawat, House of X aims to stand at the forefront of transforming how creators conceive and launch brands, ushering in a new era of entrepreneurial possibilities within the thriving Creator Commerce Industry.

Positioning itself as a comprehensive enabler for online businesses, House of X handles every aspect of the operational process, from identifying the right product idea for the creator to managing sourcing, warehousing, shipping, customer service, and facilitating scalable growth for creators.

Shamani, a Forbes India 30 under 30 alumni, was quoted saying, “We aim to build a global commerce infrastructure that enables the creation of digital-first creator-led D2C brands.”

Currently tied with popstar King and chef Sanjyot Keer, House of X is currently in talks with 20 more creators they plan to help grow. They teamed up with King in April 2023 and launched their first brand; Blanko. They claimed that the launch day of the perfume brand was hugely succesful with sales over Rs 20 lakh. In the next couple of months, they sold more than 20,000 units and hit Rs 1 crore in sales revenue on a monthly basis. YFL or Your Food Lab with celebrity chef Sanjyot Keer was the second creator brand launch by House of X in 2023. This kitchenware brand aims to provide cutting-edge products to cooking enthusiasts in the country. The success of YFL Home post-launch further underscores House of X’s ability to capture market demand and deliver innovative solutions.

In an interview with Moneycontrol, Shamani explained how the company comes together to help creators, “Creators understand audience & we understand business therefore we provide end to end infrastructure for them.” They take care of the “unsexy business side” so creators can focus on doing what they are good at: “storytelling”.

House of X has a notable list of investors and early backers as well: Nikhil Kamath (Zeroda), Varun Alagh (Mamaearth), Ghazal Alagh (Mamaearth), Asish Mohapatra (OfBusiness), Shashank Kumar (Razorpay), Sahil Barua (Delhivery), Ankush Sachdeva (ShareChat), Miten Sampat (Cred) and more.

Wielding a keyboard for a katana for 11+ years, Anusuya is a content samurai by day, slaying mediocrity with creativity. This Calcutta-born and Bengaluru-raised girl spent her formative years in boarding school, reading Enid Blyton under the covers. Her tourism degree makes her a travel writing wiz, but Anusuya loves crafting compelling content across all realms; social media posts that pop to website copy that sells. When she's not hunched over her laptop, you'll find her creating Pinterest boards for her next vacation or binge-watching Asian dramas.

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Nikhil Kamath Backs Collective Artists Network in Creator-First Move

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nikhil-kamath-vijay-subramaniam - the reel stars

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath has joined forces once again with entrepreneur Vijay Subramaniam, this time by investing in Collective Artists Network (CAN), a talent management agency led by Subramaniam. This marks Kamath’s second venture with Subramaniam.

The investment facilitates a significant return (over 5x) for InMobi’s Glance, which had previously invested in CAN in 2021. This signals a strategic exit for Glance.

Collective Artists Network

Originally known for its expertise in talent management, Collective Artists Network has evolved into a multifaceted new media powerhouse. Its services now encompass talent management, creator tech, production, creative strategy, influencer marketing, youth marketing, sports sponsorship and consulting, and media distribution. This broad-based approach, as per the company, aims to redefine the creator-driven new media landscape and maximize impact in today’s dynamic media scene.

Collaboration and Shared Vision

This investment comes on the heels of a recent collaboration between Collective and Kamath-backed Gruhas. Together, they launched the ‘Gruhas Collective Consumer Fund (GCCF)’ to support consumer-focused businesses and attract external investments. The fund offers not just financial backing but also mentorship and operational assistance. Furthermore, empowering portfolio companies in marketing and brand building.

Kamath and Subramaniam Have A Shared Belief in the Evolving Media Landscape

Commenting on the investment, Kamath stated that supporting Collective’s vision feels like a natural progression. He has closely observed the company’s growth over the past few years. Furthermore, shares a similar outlook on the potential of the Indian media scene. He expressed his enthusiasm for being part of Collective’s journey as they challenge the status quo and redefine the media landscape and creator ecosystem.

Vijay Subramaniam, Collective’s Founder and Group CEO, echoed Kamath’s sentiment. He views Kamath’s investment as more than just financial support; it signifies the trust and collaboration they’ve built over time. Subramaniam has long emphasized the need to institutionalize the largely unorganized media and entertainment space in India. This vision, he believes, will ensure shareholder value and set new benchmarks in media, technology, and entertainment.

Subramaniam further acknowledged Glance’s role as a valuable partner and expressed his appreciation for their trust in Collective. He also highlighted his shared belief with Kamath that India is poised to become a global media powerhouse. However, with media and entertainment playing a pivotal role in the country’s growth story.

Stay tuned for more updates on this new collaboration between the Bangalore-based entrepreneurs.

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EY-BigBangSocial Predict Major Surge in India’s Influencer Marketing Industry

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India's Influencer Marketing Market Set to Boom: Report by EY

India’s influencer marketing space is experiencing a period of explosive growth, fueled by the increasing power of social media and the growing influence of content creators. A recent report by EY and Collective Artists Network’s Big Bang Social, titled “The State of Influencer Marketing in India,” paints a promising picture for the industry, projecting a surge of 25% in 2024, reaching a value of INR 2,344 crore. This upward trend is expected to continue, with the market reaching an estimated INR 3,375 crore by 2026.

Social Media is the Engine Driving Growth

The report highlights a key factor propelling this growth: the dominance of social media in the lives of Indian consumers. With a staggering 50% of mobile usage dedicated to these platforms, and the projected rise of smartphone users to 740 million by 2030, social media offers a powerful avenue for brands to connect with their target audience. Recognizing this shift, marketers are increasingly integrating influencer marketing into their overall strategies, with a whopping 75% expected to consider it by the end of 2024.

Engagement Over Reach is the New Mantra

The report emphasizes that Indian brands are prioritizing quality over quantity when it comes to influencer selection. Gone are the days of solely focusing on mega-influencers with massive followings. Today, brands are placing greater value on engagement rates and the influencer’s ability to connect with the desired audience in an authentic manner. However, This shift in focus creates an opportunity for micro and nano influencers who boast highly engaged communities.

tanmay bhat foreward for EY report - the reel stars

The Power of Micro and Nano Influencers

Interestingly, the survey reveals that nano influencers, those with the smallest following sizes. Furthermore, achieve the highest engagement rates compared to other categories. This, coupled with their lower cost per reach, makes them an attractive proposition for brands looking. Besides, to maximize the impact of their influencer marketing campaigns. In fact, 47% of brands surveyed reported a preference for working with micro and nano influencers.

The Rise of Strategic Partnerships

While micro and nano influencers are gaining traction, the report acknowledges the continued importance of mega. Furthermore, macro influencers in driving brand awareness and fostering loyalty. Savvy brands are striking a strategic balance, leveraging both categories to achieve their marketing objectives.

Emerging Trends and Challenges in India’s Influencer Marketing Scene

The report also explores the growing importance of specific sectors within the influencer marketing landscape. Lifestyle, fashion, and beauty are expected to remain dominant players, while automobile, e-commerce, and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) are projected to see the most significant increases in influencer marketing spending.

However, the report also identifies key challenges. Brands struggle to accurately measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of their influencer marketing campaigns. Besides, on the other hand, face difficulties in building long-term audience loyalty and maintaining their credibility.

The Road Ahead involves more Collaboration and Growth

The report concludes on a positive note, highlighting the evolving strategies of brands. Many are building in-house influencer marketing teams while simultaneously engaging with agencies to leverage their expertise. As the influencer marketing industry matures, both brands and influencers will need to adopt innovative approaches. Moreover, foster collaborative partnerships to navigate the dynamic and competitive Indian market.

This report, based on a survey of CMOs, influencers, agencies, and individuals. However, offers valuable insights into the current state and future potential of influencer marketing in India. It’s clear that this space is poised for continued growth, offering exciting opportunities for brands, creators, and the Indian digital marketing landscape as a whole.

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Zomato’s Pay-Day Party Gets a Financial Twist with Sharan Hegde

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sharan hedge for zomato - the reel stars

Food delivery giant Zomato is shaking things up for their “Pay-Day Party” campaign with a surprising influencer choice: Sharan Hegde, a popular personal finance guru known as “@financewithsharan.”

Top Secret Investment Strategies (or Are They?)

The campaign revolves around two key ads featuring Hegde. The first, titled “Top 1% Mindset,” throws a curveball. Instead of the usual focus on mutual funds and SIPs, Hegde, in a podcast-like setting, unveils the “secret” investment strategy of the wealthy: investing in relationships. He encourages viewers to celebrate paydays with friends, subtly plugging Zomato’s special offers as the perfect way to do so. The ad cleverly plays on the “1%” reference, suggesting that financial success goes beyond just traditional financial instruments.

Beyond the Balance Sheet: Treating Yourself

The second ad takes a more lighthearted approach. Here, Hegde ditches the charts and graphs and unveils a different kind of “portfolio” – a celebration of indulging in good food at the start of the month. This resonates with the audience, reminding them to treat themselves after a hard month’s work.

Why Sharan Hegde? A Strategic Choice

Zomato’s decision to partner with Hegde is a strategic one. He boasts a massive following of 2.8 million YouTube subscribers and 2.5 million Instagram followers. Further, his exclusive platform, “The 1% Club,” caters to a financially savvy audience. This campaign cleverly taps into that audience, subtly suggesting that celebrating with friends is an investment in happiness, complementing their existing financial strategies.

Following a Trend of Influencer Marketing

Zomato is no stranger to influencer partnerships. Last year, they collaborated with comedian Samay Raina and actress Sahiba Bali, and also partnered with popular YouTuber Mumbiker Nikhil. This latest campaign, timed perfectly for payday week, demonstrates Zomato’s understanding of the power of influencer marketing and their ability to connect with audiences in unique ways.

So, will Zomato’s gamble on Sharan Hegde pay off? Only time will tell, but their unconventional approach is certainly grabbing attention and sparking conversations about how to celebrate those hard-earned paychecks. Whether viewers choose to invest in friends, treat themselves to a good meal, or do both, Zomato is hoping to be a part of the celebration.

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