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Launch HN: Global Belly (YC W20) – Helping influencers launch their own products, hacker news

Ankita and Madhuri here from Global Belly ( ) . We built a platform that helps influencers launch their own custom line of products. By ‘influencers’ we mean creators who have loyal and engaged audiences on social media that they have grown through their own content. They are usually experts in a particular skill, like cookie decorating, vegan baking, or fitness and nutrition. Right now the primary way they make money is through promoting third party brands in their content. While they have all the necessary creative skills to connect with a large audience they do not have expertise in product design, tech, and operations to launch and sell their own products. We help these talented individuals launch their own e-commerce brand and start turning their fans into customers. We take care of everything for them – from product design and tech to operations and delivery – so influencers can create and start selling their physical and virtual products in a matter of days.

Ankita and I met in 2014, while she was completing her MBA at NYU Stern and I was working at The Food Network. Ankita came from an engineering background and had previously worked at Apple, while my experience was in media production, but we connected immediately and started working on a few projects together at the intersection of food and tech and launched our own DTC food brand that would feature products to help people cook more global cuisines at home, hence the name Global Belly.

We developed our own e-commerce platform with all the bells and whistles , set up operations with co-packers and food distributors, and even started working with a fulfillment partner to manage delivery logistics. When we began exploring influencer partnerships, we started hearing the same thing from all of them: “I’ve always wanted to launch my own line of products like these but I just don’t have the time and resources”. This really resonated with us, we knew first-hand the challenges of launching your own brand, and we knew this would be nearly impossible for them while maintaining aggressive content calendars. After speaking with 100 different food influencers we learnt not only how well-positioned they were to launch their own products but how eager they were to do it. The solution became obvious to us, we had the tech, analytics and operational expertise to help them launch both physical and virtual product lines quickly. Influencers could continue to do what they do best, create amazing content and connect with their audience and we would take care of the rest for them.

So this Is how it works: Once influencers are onboarded we look at their audience data and help them create a product portfolio that is best suited for their fans. We design all of these products, set up their custom store on Global Belly and manage the production and fulfillment logistics of the whole store as well. Influencers share their custom products to their fans and followers via their store on Global Belly and they start earning revenue for each product sold from day 1.

We have Currently launched 17 influencers in the food vertical and shipped thousands of products so far. One of our largest influencers is SweetAmbs, who is a pastry chef specializing in cookie decorating. Through her beautifully crafted videos she has built an audience of 3M across her social media platforms. We helped her launch her own line of DIY cookie kits, signature cookie mixes, books, and e-tutorials via her Global Belly store ( ) She is just one of the millions of content creators we believe will be the future of commerce as they begin to capitalize on their own brand instead of pushing others.

Though the majority of our launches have been in the last 3 months, we have already started learning some interesting things. The size of the influencers’ audience is only one parameter to watch, as smaller influencers have proven that they can be just as successful as larger ones. An influencer with only 728 K in followers can generate the same product revenue in the first week of launch than one with over We are starting to collect data on how much an influencer can actually sell to predict revenue they can generate based on audience parameters like age, gender, income and education.

While we are the only company doing this in the food space at the moment, this model has seen success in the fashion and beauty industry. Would love to connect with anyone at Revolve and Huda Beauty and anyone with extensive knowledge or a unique perspective in the social commerce space. We are looking forward to hearing ideas and feedback from the HN community and any experiences you have in this space!

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