A Milwaukee startup that provides an influencer marketing platform for brands just raised $1 million from a handful of well-known investors.
Lumanu announced Tuesday that it has raised a $1 million seed round from San Francisco’s 500 Startups, Northwestern Mutual’s venture fund Cream City Venture Capital, gener8tor, Rightside Capital, and Peter Sachse, the former chief revenue officer of Macy’s.
Lumanu was founded in San Francisco in 2016 and participated in gener8tor’s accelerator program that same year. The startup decided to remain in Milwaukee after the program.
Along with its investment from Northwestern Mutual, Lumanu will also receive space in the insurance giant’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters. Northwestern Mutual launched Cream City VC in late 2017, and Lumanu is its second investment.
Lumanu helps brands connect with social media influencers to help promote their products. Lumanu’s platform specializes in helping marketers vet influencers for bots and suspicious behavior—a problem that has plagued the influencer marketing industry—and amplify the best influencer content to a large audience, the company said.
“Our vision is to make it unbelievably easy for marketers to get the best content made by the best influencers in front of the right people at scale,” Tony Tran, CEO and co-founder of Lumanu, said in a news release. “We are excited for the additional funding, as it will help us grow our team and improve our machine learning capabilities.”
Lumanu’s customers include Absolut Elyx, Endeavor, Collectively and Ritz Carlton. The startup said it will use the funding to expand into beauty, fashion, hospitality, lifestyle and CPG brands.