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Brands are always looking for new ways to get in front of potential customers, but though influencer marketing has grown, it’s still not so easy for brands to find the right person.
That’s where Carro comes in. David Perry and Jason Goldberg co-founded the company in 2015 and built a cross-store selling and influencer commerce platform that is used by more than 7 million influencers and 30,000 brands, like Blendjet, Arizona Iced Tea and Chubbies Shorts.
Carro can be installed from the Shopify App store and enables brand partnerships to sell each other’s products without having to purchase inventory or manage logistics and returns. It also has a feature for brands to discover influencers who already love their products so they can build and maintain a relationship.
“When a customer purchases a bike, for example, they will most likely need a helmet, gloves and other accessories at the same time,” CEO Perry told TechCrunch. “We get them to see what things can go together with what you sell. For example, you sell makeup, but not brushes, so you could add them to your store without having to purchase them for your inventory.”
Goldberg noted that Carro got started when influencer marketing was a relatively new term and people had large followings, but not an easy way to get connected to brands. That has now changed: the global influencer marketing market has more than doubled since 2019 and is poised to be valued at $13.8 billion in 2021.
That growth impacted Carro, too. It grew by over 500% in the last year, Perry said. To meet that demand, the company closed on $20 million of Series B funding. It was led by Alpha Edison, which was joined by PayPal Ventures, GC1 Ventures, Corazon Capital and a group of individuals who use Carro.
Nate Redmond, managing partner at Alpha Edison, said in a written statement that the company “presents a compelling new way for brands to grow, by building direct relationships with customers without spending all of their profits on online advertising. We’ve been impressed with the pace at which the Carro team innovates and utilizes deep customer insights to deliver optimal results for customers.”
The new funding gives Carro $30 million in total funding to date. It will be used to grow Carro’s team of 50 employees, product development and network expansion.
Meanwhile, the company has more than 1 million products in its network and sees 320 million visitors a month.
“One thing that makes us happy is that when a smaller merchant, who was packing orders in their garage, joins Carro. They get really busy and can supercharge their business without having to save up tons of money for Facebook ads,” Goldberg said.