This New Platform Uses AI to Streamline Brand Deals With Creators

The former president of celebrity video service Cameo is pivoting into ad tech

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When Arthur Leopold became Cameo’s first employee in 2017, notoriety was exclusive to an elite group: those who had already secured the fans that would pay them for personalized pep talks and birthday greetings on the platform.

But as other platforms like TikTok have increased the accessibility of online influence, the former president of Cameo is now helping brands endorse a wider net of talent before their content goes live. Leopold has partnered with Jonathan Meyers, a former engineer and manager at Spotify, to create an AI-driven platform that they say offers a new solution in a saturated market.

Looking to mirror the streamlined process of buying a Facebook or Google ad, Agentio facilitates partnerships between creators and brands through technology that takes the tedious work out of vetting talent.

“Historically, brand connections have been made from conversations between creators and their managers, which can be relayed to a brand but usually sits in an email inbox,” said Meyers. “It’s all a really manual process, but we can semantically understand who a creator is based on what they’ve made in the past and what they’ll make in the future.” 

Through Agentio, brands can set a monthly budget, target specific categories—the menu includes areas such as cinematography and art culture—and add in details like ad duration and placement in the video. Creators can then offer up a preview of their upcoming video content, whether that be a new recipe or a pregnancy announcement, and the platform identifies brands to auto bid on the content.

Early Agentio investors include Wieden+Kennedy global CEO Neal Arthur, SoulCycle and Peoplehood co-founder Elizabeth Cutler and celebrity creator Cody Ko. 

“Creators have true media businesses, but advertisers are not giving their audiences the value they deserve,” said Leopold, adding that brands often want to increase their influencer budgets but lack the bandwidth, which means that valuable content often goes unmonetized. “It’s incredibly underpriced attention, and we’re going to change that.” 

Reinventing influence 

Since Leopold stepped down as president of Cameo in early 2023, mass layoffs in July left the company with less than 50 employees, The Information first reported. Emphasizing new opportunity in the ad tech space, Leopold pointed to a LinkedIn post from Jimmy Donaldson—aka Mr. Beast, YouTube’s most followed creator—who was promoting empty ad slots. 

“It’s pretty unfathomable that the Super Bowl without ads would never be a thing, but for someone who is getting hundreds of millions of views per video, there is no aggregation of demand,” he said.

At its launch, Agentio is helping creators score ad reads for their YouTube videos, but the platform hopes to expand its offerings to encompass a wider variety of formats.

While AI often comes with the anxiety of job replacement, Agentio founders and investors said the platform is positioning influencer marketing professionals to focus on larger initiatives while offering more opportunities for creators to enter the space. 

“We have so much data around micro creators who have the most engaged audiences and drive really powerful outcomes,” said Susannah Shipton, partner at AlleyCorp, which co-led this investment round alongside venture capital firm Craft Ventures. “It’s going to be impossible for brands to find these people without a platform like this.”

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