Former Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed embarks on his second act with an investment in influencer tech startup Tribe

Business Insider | May 14, 2019, 04.30PM IST

keith weed


Unilever's former CMO Keith Weed

  • Retired Unilever CMO Keith Weed has become an angel investor in the influencer tech platform Tribe.
  • Tribe recently raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from investors including Weed, who wouldn't say how much he invested.
  • Weed spoke out against influencer marketing fraud among other industry problems while at Unilever.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Retired Unilever CMO Keith Weed is going into angel investing, making his first investment in the influencer tech platform Tribe.

Tribe is a self-serve platform that helps brands find branded content from so-called "micro-influencers." Founder Jules Lund said Tribe is differentiated from competitors because influencers on the platform only get paid if their submissions end up being used.

"The big challenge that marketers have right now is how can they produce more and different types of content for multiple media channels or platforms at the same price," Weed told Business Insider. "Marketers want quality, cost-effective and quick content, and the adage is that they have to choose two among the three. But with Tribe, they can have all three."

Tribe started Australia in 2015 before expanding into the UK, and recently raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from investors to expand in the US. Weed contributed to this round, but wouldn't say how much.

Weed has spoken out against influencer fraud

Weed's investment in Tribe is fitting, given he used his position as one of the biggest ad spenders to speak out on industry issues including influencer fraud.

As Unilever's CMO, he tested new viewability standards and cut back on the number of agencies that the company used. He also spoke out on the need to hold platforms like Google and Facebook more accountable.

Read More: Unilever's Keith Weed says the company's sustainable brands are delivering 70% of its growth

Last year, he said Unilever would only with influencers who try to increase transparency and help eradicate bad advertising practices. He said the industry has made good progres, with platforms taking the issue more seriously.

Under Weed, Unilever used Tribe for several brands, including mustard brand Maille for an Easter-themed campaign on Instagram last month.

"Tribe delivers in a way that other platforms don't," he said. "It's interesting for someone like myself, who is close to the market, and understand the challenges marketers face."

Weed said he's evaluating other investment opportunities in startups at the intersection of marketing and technology. He's also interested in serving as an independent director, or non-executive director and advisor at companies.

"My aim is to invest in different platforms that address the changing challenges and needs of marketers in this changing, technology-enhanced marketplace," he said. "These Darwinian gales of change are challenging for marketers, but hugely positive for innovative companies that can come in and help them address these issues."

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