#paid—a leader in the influencer marketing space whose platform leverages AI to match marketers and content creators for integrated influencer marketing programs, content creation, and native amplification—today announced it has raised $9 million USD in Series A financing led by ScaleUP Ventures.

“This is a defining moment in our journey as we empower marketers to be at the forefront of culture by working with social media’s top tastemakers,” said Bryan Gold, CEO and Co-Founder of #paid. “Partnering with ScaleUP Ventures means we can channel their expertise and leadership to scale the #paid platform to new markets across North America and Europe. This investment helps accelerate our mission of democratizing access to the world’s most inspiring creators and empowering them to make a living doing what they love.”

“ScaleUP is excited to lead the Series A round into #paid. With global influencer marketing ad spend exceeding $6B annually, the #paid team has achieved exceptional traction and revenue growth, and we believe they're positioned to accelerate the influencer marketing industry in a big way” says Matt Roberts, Partner at ScaleUP Ventures. “Their unique matching algorithm leverages AI and online communities to identify creators who deeply believe in the brands they are promoting, and authentically connects them to highly engaged audiences. #paid is in an advantageous position to bring global scale to brands and ad agencies to run influencer and content marketing programs that drive impact and ROI.”

#paid is expanding their platform with a SaaS offering focused on enabling marketers to run world-class influencer marketing programs on their own, harnessing #paid’s technology and curated network of creators. Additionally, #paid will accelerate innovation of its AI-powered matching algorithm, Affinity Score™, which uses advanced image-recognition, past campaign performance and relationships with the creators to ensure optimal and authentic recommendations.

Part of #paid’s success can be attributed to its easy-to-use collaboration platform, as well as ongoing advocacy and education for creators in their network—empowering them with the skills and tools they need to turn their passion into their profession. “#paid allows creators to do what they do best, which is create awesome content for brands,” one of their creators, Torri Webster shares. She adds, “The collaboration process is simple and helps bring out the story behind it, some of my collaborations are part of major global campaigns—it’s all very exciting.”

Simultaneously, serial entrepreneur James Aitken, will be joining the #paid board, bringing a wealth of advertising and media experience, and proven track record of building successful companies—including programmatic advertising marketplace, The Exchange Lab, which sold to WPP in 2015. The latest funding round also includes participation from several existing investors, including Aitken Investments and Freycinet Investments.