Billo, a Lithuanian startup that helps brands crowdsource video ads, has announced plans to further expand in the US after raising nearly €1 million last year. The funding came from SOSV and its program Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX), as well as Open Circle Capital and 70Ventures.
As an alternative advertising route, Billo cuts out creative agencies and connects businesses directly with influencer-like content creators. The platform allows e-commerce brands to publish tasks to the community of over 3,000 creators, who then get paid for creating “authentic” video ads.
The word “authentic” here does a paradoxical play: it means the video should feel created by a lay person, a peer who’s just sharing their opinion, rather than like a paid advertisement orchestrated by companies. In that affected sense, the videos are actually quite inauthentic — but they work.
“E-commerce businesses understand that engaging customers in marketing efforts help build stronger, more organic audiences, which therefore drive sales,” says Billo co-founder Tadas Deksnys.
During the second half of last year, Billo increased revenue tenfold. The business continues to attract over 400 new customers every month, for whom creators have already produced over 7,000 video ads.
The new funding will help develop the platform with more functionality and grow the team. Although the startup focuses exclusively on the US market and seeks international employees, all current members of the team are Lithuanian.
Photo: Billo team