Meet Liav Refael Chen, a 30-year-old software developer and co-founder of Humanz, a creator commerce platform that merges science and art in the world of creators. With a focus on empowering real people and preserving the romance between brands and creators, Humanz offers a performance-based influencer marketing platform, empowering micro and nano influencers and enabling brands to pay on a success-based model. The platform’s AI-driven technology provides real-time data, closing the loop for influencers and offering a generous affiliate commission, creating a win-win situation for both brands and content creators.
More About Liav Refael Chen
Meet Liav Refael Chen, a 30-year-old software developer from Tel Aviv, Israel, and co-founder of Humanz. He brings valuable experience from his time as an officer in the intelligence unit, 8,200, where he worked extensively with technology, AI, and big data.
Liav, along with four friends, founded Humanz, a creator commerce platform that facilitates collaboration between brands, creators, and influencers. He describes the platform as putting “science over art,” emphasizing the importance of numbers and results in the creator economy.
Humanz operates as an ecosystem rather than just a marketplace or app. It offers features like a marketplace, user-generated content (UGC) creation, and specific niche collaborations. Brands and creators can join through the mobile app, gaining access to a variety of options and features to enhance their partnerships and achieve better results together.
As of now, Humanz is actively working in five countries with a growing team of 90 employees, and Liav plans to expand its reach while upholding its philosophy of merging science and art in the world of creators.
How to Join Humanz
When it comes to joining the Humanz ecosystem, Liav explains that their core belief is in empowering real people and preserving the romance between brands and creators. They believe that every individual can be an influencer; it’s just a matter of who they can influence and how they choose to do so.
Currently, Humanz has a minimum threshold for creators who want to join, which is approximately a thousand followers per social media platform. This threshold exists because they already have a significant number of creators and influencers eager to participate. However, Liav emphasizes that their philosophy remains inclusive, and they believe that everyone has the potential to be an influencer, regardless of follower count.
Liva’s Long-Term Vision for Humanz
Liav shares his long-term vision for the company and the future of the creator economy. He acknowledges the constant evolution of the creator economy and the increasing attraction of users to creators’ content on social media platforms.
Liav envisions Humanz becoming the industry standard for partnerships and collaborations between brands and content creators. He emphasizes the importance of respecting individual creators and providing them with a platform to build better relationships. The company aims to elevate the creator economy by offering smart solutions and leveraging data and transparency to support creators in what they do best.
In Liav’s words, “Our vision is to become the standard when it comes to the partnerships, the collaboration, and how you basically work with content creators and influencers. It’s not only about the influence of marketing campaigns; it’s about how to respect these individuals and how to give them the place to have a better relationship and become better in what they do. We do it by providing a lot of data and providing a lot of transparency in that landscape.”
Humanz has already raised a total of $17 million in funding. How do you plan to utilize these funds to further enhance your AI-based influencer marketing platform?
Liav, in response to the funding raised by Humanz, explains their focus on enhancing the AI-based influencer marketing platform and improving the product features. The company prioritizes user experience and aims to provide a self-explanatory and seamless platform for both creators/influencers and brands.
He says, “As a product-first company, we sell our products, and users use our products on a daily basis. The influencers and creators work within our mobile app, creating partnerships, using attribution links, and receiving real-time data about their success and payments. We also handle all the payments through our platform, which serves as a CRM, discovery tool, and payout system for creators.”
For brands, Humanz offers the ability to create briefs, run awareness and performance campaigns, and engage in user-generated content (UGC) collaborations with creators and influencers.
Regarding the investment, Liav emphasizes that the primary goal is to create a better product and improve the overall user experience. The focus is on catering to the diverse needs of creators, influencers, and brands, ensuring that each user finds the platform self-explanatory and efficient for their specific requirements.
Could you discuss the strategic investors who participated in the recent funding round and how their involvement aligns with Humanz’s goals and objectives?
Liav discusses the strategic investors in the recent funding round, saying, “We have several strategic investors, the majority of them being our clients who chose to invest eventually as DTC brands and importers.”
One significant investor he mentions is Stardom VC, an Israeli venture capital firm from the media and entertainment landscape. Liav values their involvement, stating, “We learn a lot about influencers and talent agencies, not just on social media but also in TV and big productions. We find similarities in the way they treat influencers, and that’s where their strategic input helps us.”
He emphasizes the advantages of working with smart people by telling us, “Behind the scenes, when we work with smart people, you get help.” Liav acknowledges the diverse support they receive, adding, “Our strategic investors can help us in different countries, different continents, in different verticals like fashion and beauty. We have a variety of strategic investors that joined us along the way, and now we have very strong advisors and understanding of different markets.” This support aids their global expansion and ensures the platform is tailored to specific markets’ needs.
Humanz operates in several countries, including Israel, the U.S., Turkey, South Africa, and Brazil. Can you elaborate on your international expansion plans and the challenges and opportunities you foresee in these markets?
Liav shares the company’s international expansion plans, saying, “We work in several countries, USA, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, and South Africa.” He explains that their current step is expansion and that they will invest more in the product to support their growth. The growth plan is going well, and they have already penetrated new territories with global clients, focusing on the direct-to-consumer (DTC) area.
He elaborates on their approach, stating, “We offer DTC brands better ROI using Humanz, creators, and influencers. It can be several approaches, like maximizing ad revenues or enhancing organic influence and marketing with Humanz’s technology.”
Currently, they are working hard on their expansion in the US, hiring new talent to support their growth. Next, they are eyeing the European market and anticipate further action there by the middle of next year. Additionally, they have plans for expansion in the rest of Latin America.
The Humanz platform characterizes the customer journey on websites and measures the success of influencers and content creators in real time. Can you explain how this AI-based technology works and what sets it apart from other influencer marketing platforms?
Liav explains how their AI-based technology works, highlighting their unique approach to influencer marketing. He describes the Human Pixel, an add-on for e-commerce stores that allows influencers to create their own attribution links. These links track the user journey, enabling influencers to receive real-time notifications and commissions for purchases made through their content.
He emphasizes the significance of real-time data for influencers, stating, “What we changed using that technology is we changed the creators’ and influencers’ motivation to work on a performance base because they see the information in real-time.”
Liav’s philosophy is to leverage technology to provide real-time data and maximize the success of influencers. This is achieved by being inside the store, closing the loop, and offering influencers the ability to generate their own attribution links.
One of the key features of the Humanz platform is its ability to measure and reflect the success of influencers. Could you elaborate on how this technology functions and its implications for brands and content creators?
Liav explains how their platform overcomes the lack of data in the creator economy and empowers both brands and content creators with real-time insights. Through their technology, they consolidate cross-platform data and provide a Pixel to be installed in the shop itself, closing the loop in real-time.
AI-driven technology plays a significant role in predicting the products that influencers should promote to increase their success. Liav states, “We came up with the technology to consolidate everything, but also with the Pixel to install in the shop itself. And by that, we can close the entire loop in real-time.” The platform also enables tracking which items are sold by which influencers, considering factors like delayed purchases across different browsers.
Ultimately, their goal is to give influencers and creators the power to succeed, ensuring they are appropriately rewarded for their efforts. Liav emphasizes, “We give the influencers and the creators the power. And we make it right because that’s, you know, it’s their credit, and they should be rewarded for that.”
Content creators can encode links to products themselves using the Humanz platform and receive real-time information about their sales data. How does this feature empower content creators and enhance their collaboration with brands?
The platform’s ability to measure and reflect the success of influencers enhances their collaboration with brands. Liav explains that influencers can create their own specific product links and receive recommendations from the AI. This approach allows them to start working with brands they like without being heavily vetted.
Liav states, “We’re gonna give you the dress first, and we’re gonna recommend it for you with a specific brand and the ability to create your own attribution link and make money. And then once the brand sees your results, they will contact you and will close you for the team.” This process allows influencers to build a sustainable income and strong relationships with brands.
Additionally, Humanz provides a more generous affiliate commission, offering between 10% to 20% for influencers, as opposed to the typical 1% to 2% on other platforms. Liav emphasizes, “We believe that’s how it should be. That’s how it should work. And that’s what we bring that is different to the table.”
In recent years, advertisers have been increasingly focused on a measurable and performance-oriented approach. How does Humanz cater to this need and provide value to brands and content creators in terms of both strategy and technology?
Liav explains how Humanz caters to this need by offering a performance-based influencer marketing platform. He states, “We basically allow the brands to pay us on a success-based model. If you sell, you’ll pay us the cut. If you don’t sell, don’t pay us the cut.” This approach gives brands the chance to succeed without upfront costs.
Liav emphasizes the importance of optimization in influencer marketing. He says, “You need to work in optimization and bring more creators and more creators and optimize. See who’s working and who’s not. And that’s what we offer in the platform for the brands.” Humanz enables brands to identify successful influencers and build a sustainable team of ambassadors who deliver sales-oriented results.
How does Humanz’s technology and product contribute to the Creator Economy, and what benefits does it offer to content creators, influencers, and brands?
Humanz’s technology and product contribute to the entire creator economy landscape by empowering influencers and creators with more tools to succeed and access more budgets. Liav states, “We take down the threshold so you don’t have to be big with 1 million followers or even 100,000; you can do it with a thousand followers.” This democratizes influencer marketing and opens up opportunities for a broader range of creators.
Furthermore, Humanz enables creators to tap into performance budgets, which Liav emphasizes as being much more desirable than brand awareness budgets because they are endless. This approach allows creators to earn based on actual sales and results, making it a win-win situation for both brands and content creators.
Liav’s Thoughts on Micro- vs. Macro-Influencers
In the ongoing conversation about micro-influencers versus macro influencers, Liav expresses Humanz’s’ philosophy, stating, “We believe in the micro and nano influencers; we believe in scale.” He emphasizes the importance of working with a diverse range of influencers and creators, highlighting the success of brands like Pretty Little Thing and Revolve, which focus on smaller, authentic influencers.
Liav supports his stance with scientific evidence, explaining that emotions and trust are stronger when followers are fewer. He mentions the concept of “parasocial relationships,” which foster deeper connections with smaller influencers. Humanz aims to spread this philosophy and empower smaller influencers by showing them that they, too, can have a sustainable income through brand deals and affiliations, as they possess significant influence and leverage in the creator economy.
With an emphasis on the U.S. market, could you elaborate on your growth strategy for this region and how you plan to navigate the dynamic and competitive landscape of influencer marketing?
Liav explains their growth strategy for the US market, focusing on direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and big brands. He mentions how they have carefully selected clients, saying, “We really cherry-picked our clients in the US.” The plan is to showcase success with these brands first and then use that momentum to onboard more creators and expand their reach.
They already have over 25,000 active creators in the US through the app, but they aim to grow this number significantly. Liav reveals their ambitious plans, stating, “In the next year and a half, we’re gonna be focusing mainly on the US expansion.” They are establishing offices in New York and LA to support this growth and expect exciting news to come soon.
Looking ahead, can you share any future plans or developments that Humanz has in the works? Are there any new features, products, or partnerships that you can disclose to us, which will further enhance the platform and benefit your clients?
Liav discusses two exciting partnerships and a new feature that will enhance the platform. He mentions, “Now you can find Humanz’s add-on inside apps like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Salesforce,” allowing performance-based campaigns with creators and influencers for mobile apps. Additionally, they have a Human Pixel feature that can be installed in various e-commerce platforms for easy collaboration.
He also hints at a forthcoming feature, stating, “In the future, we’re launching talent agencies user.” This feature will enable talent managers to manage their rosters and work on behalf of influencers inside Humanz, helping them secure more brand deals and payments for their talents.
Liav emphasizes the convenience and benefits for talent managers, stating, “You can see the success of the influencers in real-time, the sales, and the payments that bring them.” With this new feature, talent managers can efficiently manage their influencers’ income from social media within the Humanz app.