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Jake Paul Raises $1 Million for Social Media Venture

Variety logo Variety 1/19/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Jake Paul, a social-media star and actor, has raised $1 million in funding for TeamDom, his company dedicated to promoting and incubating internet talent and their content projects.

The funding was led by China’s Danhua Capital, which focuses on early- and growth-stage investments. Other investors include Horizons Alpha’s Edward Lando, Vayner Capital’s Gary Vaynerchuk, Abe Burns (of Sound Ventures and A-Grade Investments), and Adam Zeplain.

Paul, who is TeamDom’s founder and CEO, said the funding will be used to recruit more talent managers and other staff; to develop and monetize influencer products; develop a TV show; and to produce more branded content.

“Social media isn’t just an alternative to traditional media — it’s turning the traditional model on its head and totally shaking up how consumers make decisions,” he said. “We know the world of social inside and out, and we offer unprecedented expertise, scale and process for this lucrative new frontier.”

Paul, who rose to fame on Twitter’s now-defunct Vine, has 4.1 million followers on Instagram, 1.8 million on YouTube, and 1 million on Twitter. The 20-year-old, who made his TV debut in Disney Channel’s “Bizaardvark,” is the younger brother of Logan Paul, who’s also a big social star and actor.

TeamDom operates Team 10, which Paul describes as “social-media talent label” akin to a record label in terms of providing development and promotional support. Team 10’s roster collectively has over 40 million followers and 7 billion video views. Members include Jake Paul, AJ Mitchell, Alex Lange, Alissa Violet, Lucas and Markus Dobre, Neels Visser, Stan Gerards and Tessa Brooks. Last October, Jake Paul and other Team 10 members went on a 14-city U.S. tour produced by DigiTour.

TeamDom, based in West Hollywood, currently has 10 full-time employees. The company also runs a talent incubator, Team Fuze, that identifies emerging talent and Team X, an agency built to bridge the gap between American influencers and China’s closed-off social media ecosystem.

“What really differentiates us is, all these influencers have millions of followers but they’re not doing anything strategically long-term to build their businesses,” Paul said.

Dovey Wan, managing director at Danhua Capital, said TeamDom will fill the vacuum for brands trying to reach consumers through influencers. “TeamDom is the only player in the marketing space that has this new paradigm baked into its original source — not only a vast network of young influencers but a mighty facilitator to help more young talents rise up,” Wan said.

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