Indian Firm to Launch ‘Uber of Influencer Marketing’ in Dubai

Dubai could soon emerge as a potential global hub for influencer marketing, with India-based Mad Influence set to launch a marketplace platform – billed as the first such initiative internationally – for both social media influencers and brands to tap for this latest trend in customer reach out.

The company is close to striking a $10 million fundraising deal to fast forward the platform to become the ‘Amazon’ or ‘Uber’ of influencer marketing in the Middle East and also worldwide.

Mad Influence’s marketplace platform is slated to be launched later this month.

“This platform will be a single window marketplace for social media influencers – both high-end celebrities and the budding ones – and companies and brands to connect with each other for influencer marketing activities,” Gautam Madhavan, founder and CEO of Mad Influence said.

“The platform will have social media influencers from some of the back-of-beyond places around the world, with just 1,000 followers, to top rated film stars and celebrities from other areas including music and sports, with millions of followers on various social media channels,” Madhavan said.

“The platform will be in a sort of ‘autopilot’ mode, with Mad Influence working in the background,” he said.

Madhavan said the new initiative will be a leapfrog for social media influencer marketing worldwide, as so far individual influencer marketing firms have been directly pitching with companies or brands for works, which is to be carried out with select influencers with whom they have tie-ups with.

The concept behind the new initiative is similar to the e-commerce or rider-hailing platforms – any influencer can register on the platform for offering their services and any company or brand can register for striking influencer marketing deals of any kind and proportion – from multi-million mega corporate or event campaigns to tailor-made, micro marketing programmes to reach out to highly selective audience groups in any parts of the world.

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Gautam Madhavan, founder and CEO of Mad Influence

“For instance, if an organisation wants to reach out to a highly selective target audience in, say, a place in Papua New Guinea or Easter Island, it will be able to find the most suitable influencer or influencers for that on the platform,” Madhavan said.

He said the new platform will have influencers from over 10,000 cities in 150 countries, with a total follower base running into several millions.

“The minimum number of followers required for an influencer to register on the platform is 1,000. Then we have celebrity influencers with followers running into 1.2 million up to 5 million,” he said.

Madhavan said the company zeroed in on Dubai for this global launch for two reasons: the city has expats from among the largest number of countries and therefore is an ideal place to run pilot projects for even the micro-influencer programmes to target highly specific and select target audience groups.

“Second, the emirate is also strategically located in terms of working for various time zones.”

As for funding the ambitious platform project, Madhavan said the company is in advanced stages of talks with some of the investors, including few from the Middle East, for raising capital.

“We will be raising around $10 million, which will help us to fast-track the platform project to fully exploit the first mover advantage,” he said.

Dubai real estate market
Mad Influence works with some of the leading firms associated with the Dubai and Abu Dhabi tourism sectors

Influencer marketing campaigns

Mad Influence, which already has operations in the UAE, has recently initiated a major influencer marketing initiative for Dubai’s real estate sector, roping in some big names from Bollywood such as Sanjay Dutt, Govinda and Shilpa Shetty.

The company also works with some of the leading firms associated with the Dubai and Abu Dhabi tourism sectors, besides companies in the FMCG, lifestyle and consumer product segments in the region for influencer marketing campaigns. 

Madhavan’s startup, which has set up one of the biggest creators’ studios – MAD Studio – in Mumbai, works with some of the leading names among international influencers including Huda Kattan, Abdulaziz Baz, Noha Nabil and MoVlogs.


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