Read the 9-page pitch deck that July, a ‘talent manager in your pocket’ for creators, used to raise $2.3 million from investors like Alexis Ohanian
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- July is a creator economy startup with a mission to simplify the brand deal process.
- It just announced a $2.3 million pre-seed fundraising round led by Seven Seven Six.
- Here’s the pitch deck it used to get in front of investors as VC funding in the space cools.
Wells Douraghy, a 23-year-old CEO, isn’t a stranger to creators.
“My friends and the people that I’ve been working with now for the past four years have been creators,” Douraghy — who also considers himself a content creator — told Insider. “Hands down, the biggest problem that we have all run into was how can we effectively source and manage brand deals?”
Brand deals are a crucial revenue stream for creators, who often balance multiple incomes at once.
But the process of navigating brand deals and the plethora of tools to keep everything in order can be an “absolute nightmare,” Douraghy said.
That’s why Douraghy founded July, a new creator economy startup that helps influencers manage their own brand deals.
“July operates as a manager and simplifies that process by consolidating those tools into one place where creators can quickly and effectively manage their business s no matter what size or stage they’re at,” Douraghy said.
July launched to the public in November after testing for several months. Over the past year, Douraghy has been documenting how he’s been building and growing the company on social media. Currently, the startup has four full-time staffers and just announced its first round of funding.
Led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six fund, July raised a $2.3 million pre-seed round with participation from Genius Ventures, Z Fellows, and several angel investors.
“It’s essentially a talent manager in your pocket,” Ohanian said of July in a written statement.
The fundraising environment for creator economy startups isn’t as ablaze as it was a year ago, however. This past year, many creator economy startups have either cut costs, slowed hiring, or laid off employees as a potential recession looms.
“It’s definitely an interesting time to raise,” Douraghy said. July closed its pre-seed round at the end of the summer, Douraghy added, “while the iron was hot.”
Still, it wasn’t easy. Douraghy said he was told by some investors that they’d “already made bets in the space,” were “waiting to see how things turn out,” or that they couldn’t “get involved in another creator economy startup.”
“That was difficult to hear,” he said. But the tough landscape was also an opportunity. Douraghy said he felt that raising (and growing) during this time was “assuring that what we’re working on is actually a viable solution.”
Check out the 9-page pitch deck July used to raise its pre-seed round:
July starts the deck with an open-ended description of what the startup does.
When July got its first users testing its product during the spring of 2022, Douraghy began setting up initial calls with potential investors. That’s where the pitch deck comes in.
“The deck was really a means to an end,” he said. “It was to get in the door.”
The deck then jumps into identifying a problem July is going to solve.
“Brand deals are the largest revenue source for creators, but are time-consuming and complex to manage,” the slide says.
July illustrates a timeline of the brand deal process, starting with reaching out to a brand and ending with waiting for payment.
July says creators are “overwhelmed and underpaid.”
“Existing solutions leave creators overwhelmed and underpaid,” July says in the slide.
The slide then identifies other brand-deal management options out there, such as self-managing brand deals, enrolling in a marketplace, or hiring an actual talent manager.
July demonstrates its product with screenshots of how it works.
Creators can use July to organize the various steps and phases of brand partnerships, such as outlining the deliverables of a project or categorizing deals.
The deck demonstrates more examples of how July works on the creator’s end.
The deck keeps it simple with product visuals and few words.
Then July breaks down how it will use funding to grow.
July plans to use the funds to hire more staffers, build out its sales and customer service strategy, and develop more tools to help creators navigate legal and financial hurdles.
July concludes with visualizing the growth trajectory of influencer marketing spend.
“The time is now — creator economy growth is accelerating the brand deal market size,” the slide says.
The estimated influencer-marketing spend on brand deals for 2022 was projected to reach $16.4 billion, according to Influencer Marketing Hub data.