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Introduction

#paid is a company that attracts social media influencers with creative ideas and also companies to help them communicate with each other in order to market the company's new products and services. With its website online, companies' representatives can register, search and match with influencers who are good candidates to advertise their products and services, therefore helping influencers live their entrepreneurial dreams. In this report we will be discussing the basic information about the company, its areas of work, employment information, the challenges it might face, its areas of operation in the business world and worldwide in general and finally, the conclusion that will include the main points discussed.


Basic Information

History

Hashtag #paid Inc. was founded on October 1st , 2013 by Adam Rivietz, who became a co-founder to the company with the former Apple employee, Bryan Gold, who joined in October of 2015 as the CEO. This company was based in Toronto, Ontario, located at 312 Adelaide St. and has expanded to another branch in New York, United States, located at 120 E 23rd St. Over the years, the company has become a "leader in the influencer marketing space" (BusinessWire 2018), helping brands and businesses around the world who have their products and services and trying to reach a bigger audience, to achieve these goals by pairing them with social media influencers -who have thousands or millions of followers- and are able to advertise them in order to acquire new customers and users. #paid incubated in DMZ which is based at Ryerson University and it's reputed as one of the largest business incubators for tech startups in Canada. (Angel.co 2018) Along with the co-founders, Richard Wong, a VP Marketing and Creator Relations, joined them in 2016 to be the third member of the team, along with James Aitken who is the only member of the board, or the advisor, and now the company has around 90 employees working under its wing since its creation in 2013. Hashtag #paid has had 5 rounds of fundraising over the course of 7 years. Hashtag #paid does not have a mission statement, but it does pride itself on having a good work environment based on respect and a warm workplace. (#paid, 2020) It is a company that encourages ideas to develop them into actions and give the individual a chance to live their dreams and a life they have always wanted. #paid empowers social media content creators and enables the world to experience their creative storytelling. #paid designs and develops world-class influencer marketing artificial intelligence SaaS1 that makes marketers' lives easier. Top brands like Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Canon trust the #paid platform to activate creators, deliver inspiring lifestyle content, and measure ROI2 . Since 2016, #paid started its collaboration with Dentsu Aegis, one of the world's top five ad agency holding groups in the world that currently manages billions of marketing dollars for many of the world's largest brands. Adam Rivietz believesthis partnership isthe foundation to secure partnerships with other major holdings companies. (Galang 2016) LinkedIn listed #paid among 25 Canadian Top Startups in 2019. (Hempel 2019)

Employees

The exact number of #paid employees is not disclosed, but by having a look at their LinkedIn profile3 we can figure out that approximately 90 people are working for this company. Based on the data revealed on their website4 Hashtag Paid believes what makes companies great, are talented, hard-working and diverse people working within the company. This company allows its employees to express their ideas and make them happen, regardless of their role in the company. Internal values of #paid are respect, inclusiveness, and belonging. In addition to celebration at their annual birthday party, holidays, and team trips, this company offers interesting benefits for their employees as below: • In-house mindfulness meditation coach, with one on one private sessions every week • Health coverage & life insurance plans to fit employees needs • Lifestyle spending account • Competitive salaries

• Every #paid employee owns equity and becomes a shareholder • Flexible vacation policy—work hard and take time when you need it • Equal employment opportunities 

Business Model

Hashtag paid is a double-sided, B2B business. On side of the business are influencers and another side belongs to the companies and brands who seek for bigger audience and user-base. Hashtag paid attract internet influencers who are active in different fields such as fashion & lifestyle, beauty & makeup, travel, food & drink, outdoors & nature, health & fitness, who have at least 5,000 followers and 2 percent engagement rate on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook.

On the other hand, companies like Coca-Cola, Sony, Microsoft, and KFC, who worked with #paid, will join the system and provide a brief introduction for their new or already-launched products and services to match with an influencer on the platform. After matching a business with an influencer, the selected influencer will produce content (typically videos or photos) based on the business needs to meet their goals. After the content gets reviewed by the business through the #paid platform, the influencer will share it on his/her social network accounts and will get paid. (Baker 2019) #paid offers its service in two different types based on the needs of the businesses: The self-serve service or the managed service. For the self-serve method, the platform (#paid) will charge the businesses 5% of the total amount of contract between influencer and business. Since many businesses prefer to have an account manager to advocate for them with negotiations with an influencer, #paid will charge 15% of the total amount of the contract. ("#Paid Terms of service" 2019)

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