Props, a New York-based holistic marketing technology platform company, announced it has raised $5.5 million and recently launched. Investors in this round of funding include Paul Speaker (co-owner and former CEO of the World Surf League), Hari Ravichandran (founder of Endurance and CEO/founder of Jump Ventures), and Axispoint.
Props is considered the only integrated technology platform that merges original and meaningful content with leading-edge artificial intelligence as it leverages IBM Watson. This enables brands to align with relevant and independent content creators to publish, share, promote, measure, and optimize authentic content.
These stories are seamlessly distributed to the native media channels of creators and brands. And it is shared and boosted on social media feeds and promoted via digital ad networks and search.
Props was created to support and extend the reach of real content creators such as professional storytellers and subject-matter experts.
“Central to Props is respect,” said Props president and CEO Joseph Perello. “Respect for the relationship between creators and their followers. Respect for brands, who seek to become what people are passionate about, instead of interrupting their passions. And respect for the integrity of the content – that it was made from a place of authenticity – not contrived, forced or manipulated.”
Perello was VP of Business Development for the New York Yankees, a principal in David Bowie’s internet venture called Ultrastar, and was the co-founder of a digital agency called Catch New York. And Props’ head of product Mary Aldon previously led marketing technology implementations at Interbrand and Siegel + Gale.
Props also recently brought on some high-profile executives to its management team including Oliver Blodgett as Head of Artificial Intelligence, who was previously an executive with IBM Watson.
Scott Powell was recently named Head of Development at Props. Powell is the founder of Axispoint, which is a company that created software powering the rights and royalty management systems for Warner Music and EMI. And Axispoint also creates custom software applications for the NFL, The New York Times, Vice, and several other media enterprises.
Prop also revealed its first advisory board, which includes
– Rachel (Lightfoot) Melby – Props investor, founder/chief brand builder at Catchfoot + Run, and 8 year veteran at Google and YouTube
– Lee Sosin – Former SVP of Hearst Digital Media and former VP of Strategic Solutions at Yahoo
– Patrick Hanlon – Props investor, author of the book “Primal Branding,” and founder of Thinktopia
– Lark-Marie Anton – Chief Communications Officer of Jump Ventures, CEO & President of Lark-Marie Communications, and former Deputy Press Secretary for the city of New York
– Sara Arnell – founder and CEO of KARMiC, adjunct professor of the Parsons School of Design, former CEO of Arnell Group, and former associated editor at Vanity Fair
– David Sussman – Special Counsel at Jenner & Block LLP, former chief legal officer at NBC Universal, former general counsel and head of business affairs at Viacom (MTV), and former COO/EVP and general counsel for the New York Yankees.
And some of the early investors in Props include Guy Story (former Audible CTO), Vishal Garg (Better Mortgage CEO), and Props co-founder and former R/GA executive creative director Pat Stern.