Gushcloud International raises USD11 million round from regional investors
Sep 18, 2019

September 2019 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Gushcloud International - a leading digital talent agency group that represents some of the world’s top digital talents, with a talent roster that reaches out to over one billion people globally—announced that it has raised a USD11 million round led by GDP Ventures for the expansion of its digital celebrity representation business into US and China, and in other new business areas. This is its first round of funding after the Gushcloud co-founders bought back the company from its previous parent, Yello Digital Marketing Global.

Other participating international investors include financial giants, KB Investments (KB Financial Holdings), Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners (via GEC-KIP Fund), and Kejora Ventures, along with strategic individual investors such as American entrepreneur and renowned hip hop mogul, Russell Simmons.

The group also announced key movements in its senior management to prepare for an aggressive next phase of growth as the company looks deeper into China and US markets, and build out its intentions within the social commerce layer.

Co-founders, Althea Lim and Vincent Ha are promoted to Group CEO and Chairman of the Board respectively. Ng Siang Hang takes on the role of Global Brands Director, shifting to head up brand advertising and marketing in America, while Oddie Randa and Chloe Lim step up to lead Gushcloud in Asia. Kuik Xiaoshi of Summer International is brought in as Chief Strategy Officer along with former Hong Kong venture capitalist, Andrew Lim for the position of Chief Financial Officer. Russell Simmons is also appointed as President of the Group, tasked to help navigate the Asia-based agency towards becoming a global company, expanding its portfolio of American-based talents and clients.

“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,” says Russell Simmons. As President of the Group, Simmons will facilitate the set up of Gushcloud’s talent agency headquarters in Los Angeles in order to better meet the needs of its US-based creators, celebrities, and influencers, building an international roster for export into Southeast and North Asia.

“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,” shares Vincent Ha, who was recently reappointed Chairman of Gushcloud International. According to Analysys International, a consultancy group, the China influencer economy was worth more than US$15.5 billion in 2018 and it is estimated that over 70% of marketers will be increasing their budgets in this space in the coming years.

In addition to global expansion, Group CEO Althea Lim cites three other growth drivers for Gushcloud’s talent-centric business:
1. Content creation and co-ownership of IP with its talents
2. Social commerce brands and distribution driven by influencers
3. Leveraging data to drive a more algorithmic approach to talent growth

Gushcloud International is one of the early pioneers in the influencer space, originally launching itself as an influencer and brand matching platform. In 2012, it pivoted to become an influencer marketing agency and further evolved into a digital talent agency group focused on building out sustainable revenue streams for top digital talents, influencers, and content creators in 2017. Most recently, its founders announced the full buyback of its shares from Yello Digital Marketing Group, regaining full control of the company to concentrate its efforts in becoming a global key player in the digital talent, influencer marketing, and commerce industries.

“At Gushcloud International, talent is at our core. 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,” says Althea Lim.

“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,” she adds.

“The influencer marketing industry is growing exponentially. Beyond that, 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,” says Antonny Liem, Partner of GDP Ventures.

Gushcloud International currently operates in 10 countries, namely Singapore, USA, China, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam; with 13 offices in key cities. The group is also divided into three strategic business units, namely Gushcloud Marketing, Gushcloud Talent, and Gushcloud Entertainment. Gushcloud International will continue its dominance in the verticals of beauty, parenting, and wellness, citing plans to also expand its representation in the verticals of fashion, sports, and music.

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For more information, please contact:
Pauline Trisha “Isha” Fermin
Group Corporate Communications Director
Mobile: +63 917 532 7124