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Singapore-based influencer marketing firm Gushcloud raises $11 million in funds

Singapore based influencer marketing agency Gushcloud International has raised US $11 million in funds from regional investors. These are to be deployed in expanding its digital celebrity representation business into the US and China.

The funding comes after Gushcloud International bought back the 62% stake held by Korean firm Yello Digital Marketing Global for $8.2 million last November.

The funding was led by GDP Ventures and other participating investors included KB Investments (KB Financial Holdings), Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners (via GEC-KIP Fund), and Kejora Ventures. There were also strategic individual investors such as American entrepreneur Russell Simmons who is now president of the group at Gushcloud. He will help the Asia-based firm expand its base of American talents and clients. 

The funding has been accompanied by other changes in the management team. Co-founders, Althea Lim and Vincent Ha are now group CEO and chairman of the board respectively. Ng Siang Hang who was CEO of Gushcloud’s agency business is now global brands director and will head brand advertising and marketing in America. 

The Gushcloud management team

Gushcloud Asia will be led by Oddie Randa and Chloe Lim. Kuik Xiaoshi founder of beauty and wellness firm Summer International has been brought in as chief strategy officer. Former Hong venture capitalist Andrew Lim has been brought in as chief financial officer. 

Speaking about the decision to invest in Gushcloud, Simmons said: “There is a gap in the market for effective talent representation of the West in the East and vice versa that Gushcloud International with its infrastructure is uniquely positioned to bridge. 

“By doing so, we can bring people of different cultures with similar lifestyle aspirations and goals closer together. This will create a powerful effect on fashion, film, television, music, sports and even politics.” 

Recently reappointed chairman of Gushcloud International Vincent Ha said: “America is home to the world’s biggest talents and brands, while China to the world’s key platforms, technologies, and largest world audience. 

“With the new investors and partners that have come on board, we can capitalise on our unique network of talents and offices as well as our cultural intelligence to achieve significant growth for the company in the coming years.” 

Althea Lim added: “One of the biggest challenges facing digital talents is long-term career sustainability. Hence, we need to look beyond influencer marketing and be able to create innovative solutions for the talents to keep growing. 

“This includes developing new market infrastructure, engaging an international and domestic brands network, and training strong talent managers and agents in various markets to broker higher value deals. 

“To be truly sustainable, we also need to help talents package themselves into brands, develop their IP portfolio, and even train them to think like entrepreneurs. We can do this more efficiently by fueling our strategies with data.

“We are extremely honored to have secured this round of funding with investors and global partners who have invested deeply into this space. We are excited to learn from them and to be a partner to the companies in their portfolios too.”. 

GDP Ventures partner Antonny Liem added: “We see successful case studies of social commerce brands such as Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, and Ruhnn having that upside when a digital talent builds a social brand. 

“We chose to invest in Gushcloud International because it is an industry leader with presence in key markets. We also believe in the power of influence these digital talents hold and are excited to see the potential of other revenue streams coming out of this model.”

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