Ten years ago, Amber Venz Box was a fashion blogger in Dallas looking for a way to make money from her social media posts.
Today she co-founded a $ 2 billion global influencer firm after securing a $ 300 million investment from Softbank’s Vision Fund. The investment was announced on Monday.
Venz and her current husband, Baxter Box, founded the RewardStyle platform and network in 2011, which enabled people like her to get paid when their online posts inspired others to buy. The platform was later LIKEtoKNOW.it and now it’s just LTK.
“Ten years ago we began with the mission to make creators like me as economically successful as possible,” said Venz Box in a statement. “This investment validates the current and future opportunities for creatives around the world when they use their skills on the LTK platform.”
LTK’s creators had sales of more than $ 3 billion in sales of fashion, beauty, fitness, home and lifestyle products last year. More than 5,000 retailers use the LTK platform to market their goods.
Lydia Jett, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said the creators of social media play “a tremendous role in driving the online retail experience” for consumers. LTK’s platform includes over 150,000 social media influencers.
“LTK has built a seamless shopping platform that is now reaching millions of monthly shoppers in more than 100 countries,” she said.
The Boxes, graduates of Southern Methodist University, intend to use the investment for additional hiring to accelerate the company’s growth in what is known as a three-sided technology platform serving content creators, brands and buyers. The company will also expand internationally.
Forbes estimates that the investment is the couple’s one combined net worth of $ 630 million.
LTK’s 350 employees work in the UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Australia, China and South Korea. The company’s revenue topped $ 130 million last year and is already topping $ 200 million this year Forbes.