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Investors Are Betting $1.6M on This Montreal Startup Focused on Nano-Influencers With High Engagement

Montreal-based startup Heylist announced it has raised $1.6 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round to power its marketplace, which connects brands with nano-influencers. It operates a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that allows companies and agencies to collaborate with social media creators who have smaller but highly engaged followings.

The funding was led by Accelia Capital, a Quebec venture capital firm. Several other investors from Canada and the U.S. also participated, including The51, which focuses on women-led tech companies, angel investors, and the government of Quebec through its Impulsion PME program.

Heylist defines nano-influencers as individuals with 10,000 or fewer followers across platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. While celebrities and influencers with millions of fans have driven marketing for years, Heylist believes these smaller creators present an opportunity for authentic campaigns with their niche but loyal audiences.

The startup leverages AI within its platform to match brands with suitable nano-influencers and facilitate their sponsored content collaborations. Co-founder and President Vicky Boudreau says Heylist wants to “democratize” influencer marketing by opening earning opportunities to passionate creators.

For the Quebec government, supporting Heylist aligns with its goals around technological innovation. “It is thanks to visionary young companies like this one that we strengthen Quebec’s position as a leader” in areas like AI, Minister Christopher Skeete said in the announcement.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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