AnyMind Group has launched its influencer-marketing platform, CastingAsia, in India through Pokkt, the firm it acquired in March this year. AnyMind expects to have 75,000 to 100,000 influencers on the CastingAsia platform in India in the next 18 months.
"We see an opportunity to be the largest organised player in what is a very fragmented industry in India," Rohit Sharma, COO of AnyMind Group and co-founder of Pokkt told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "There are at least 30 such platforms in the country and thousands of influencers on them."
To achieve this scale quickly, Sharma is open to both organic and inorganic means of growth.
Already, AnyMind has shown it is an acquisitive company. In March last year it purchased a majority stake in Thai multi-channel network Moindy, which has over 500 YouTube and Line TV channels. In January this year it bought 51% of Japan-based influencer network Grove from its owner, Space Shower Network. In early March 2020, it invested in fitness apparel brand Lyft to launch an influencer direct-to-consumer offering.
Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group, believes the Indian market has tremendous potential and said AnyMind will create impactful influencer-marketing solutions. "India represents a unique opportunity—not just for businesses in India to scale domestically or overseas, but also businesses outside of India that are looking to reach Indian audiences."
Sharma said that rather than merely aggregating existing influencers, he wants to expand the size of this nascent industry by identifying new influencers to deepen the pool, even if the pandemic has lengthened this process. "Our launch in India was delayed by three months," Sharma says. "But, we have now hired a team in India and are ready."
Along with the Middle East, India is a key focus market for AnyMind Group.
AnyMind and Pokkt's ambitions for India comes at a time when the influencer industry is at a crossroads. In India, for example, the industry was rocked by allegations of fake follower counts, even as it has struggled to cope with the pandemic, while more widely in APAC they have been forced to change their call to action to cope with cuts in marketing spend, even as the market has been hit by a wave of commoditsation.
A ban on Tiktok in India has only precipitated the challenges faced by influencers and companies such as Anymind and Pokkt.
The CastingAsia platform includes influencer discovery and analysis, campaign and content management, and real-time reporting and attribution; and has a database of 170,000 influencers and influencer data points, reaching a total potential audience of over 72 million users across APAC. In the past year, CastingAsia ran over 1,300 multi-tiered campaigns globally across various performance metrics including cost-per-click and cost-per-action metrics.
(This article first appeared on CampaignAsia.com)