Lionize Raises $3 Million Seed Round in Deal with Cultivation Capital and ScOp Venture Capital


Lionize, a SaaS leader in the influencer marketing industry, announced that it has secured a $3 million Series Seed investment led by St. Louis-based Cultivation Capital, with participation by ScOp Venture Capital, a Santa Barbara-based firm managed by DoubleClick founder Kevin O’Connor. Lionize will use the funds to expand its team and increase its capacity to run AI-powered influencer campaigns for brands around the world.

“We are deeply grateful for Cultivation Capital and ScOp Venture Capital’s investments”

Lionize has revolutionized influencer marketing with its software platform, which uses artificial intelligence to manage the lifecycle of influencer campaigns for brands and agencies. Lionize’s proprietary technology facilitates the seamless recruitment, selection and reporting for marketers’ campaigns. The startup’s impressive portfolio of clients includes Equinox, Anatomie, Wendy’s, Walmart, SoulCycle, and more.

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Lionize is the brainchild of co-founders Chris Buetti, Ben Devore, and Austin Rosenthal, who were previously running a traditional marketing agency. The trio quickly realized that their clients were looking to expand their partnerships beyond celebrity influencers, who had become overpriced and overused. Instead, their clients were hoping to partner with influencers with smaller followings, who were less expensive and had higher engagement rates.

“We are deeply grateful for Cultivation Capital and ScOp Venture Capital’s investments,” said CEO Chris Buetti. “Cultivation and ScOp are investing in the future of influencer marketing. With Lionize, brands are receiving engaging, high-quality content from small to medium-sized influencers. Smaller influencers equate to smaller payments, so brands and agencies are scaling up their influencer campaigns while staying on budget. More content for less money — it’s a no-brainer to our clients. These strides are made possible by Lionize’s AI-powered software, which brings efficiency to a process that is impossible to scale manually,” said Buetti.

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