Billo, a startup founded by Lithuanians Tadas Deksnys and Donatas Smailys, which helps US brands to crowdsource video ads quickly and easily, attracted EUR 935 thousand in investment during 2020.
In the first round of investment (pre-seed) in spring 2020, the company fundraised almost EUR 500 thousand. Later, at the end of 2020, another EUR 435 thousand were raised from the venture capital funds Open Circle Capital, 70Ventures, and SOSV.
The platform, developed by Billo, works as an alternative to a traditional collaboration between businesses and creative agencies. Billo allows e-Commerce brands to publish tasks to a community of more than 3000 video content creators, who then receive rewards for creating authentic video ads. The final video costs up to 10 times cheaper for businesses.
"We are happy to have refined our services and shifted our focus to the US market. Early results show that we are on the right track - the need for authentic content is growing in the advertising market around the world. Hence, e-Commerce businesses understand that engaging customers in marketing efforts help build stronger, more organic audiences, and drive sales. During the second half of last year, Billo increased revenue ten times, we are getting more than 400 new customers every month, for whom our creators have already produced over 7,000 video ads. We are sure that this is the best evaluation of our performance”, says Deksnys, one of the founders.
“We are in the middle of a revolution in consumer creativity: both the creator economy and online advertising have seen exponential growth during the pandemic,” says William Bao Bean, General Partner at SOSV. “Billo comes at a time when brands are seeking more authentic content from real people. There are huge opportunities for Billo to revolutionize video advertising, and we believe that Billo will further advance its position in the US thanks to the investment.”
“We like the vision of this startup, which connects the brand with people who try the advertised goods themselves. We see this company’s rapid development and the great potential to change the existing marketing rules fundamentally. We believe in the competence of the Billo team and many opportunities to create innovative, competitive solutions”, says Rokas Tamošiūnas, partner at Open Circle Capital.
Billo plans to use the fundraised investment to improve the platform, implement additional functions, and onboard new employees. Although the startup platform is only focusing on the US market, all its employees are Lithuanians. Last year alone, the company welcomed 13 new team members. The company is also starting to look for talent abroad.
In November, Arnoldas Rogoznyj joined Billo as the company's Chief Marketing Manager. Rogoznyj is the founder and long-term organizer of LOGIN, the largest tech and innovations festival in the Baltic States. Rogoznyj also gained ten years of experience working in one of Lithuania’s largest media planning agencies, Open Agency. He headed the agency's digital marketing department for five years.