Marketing Innovator Hummingbirds Raises $3.3m
Des Moines, Iowa-based Hummingbirds has successfully raised $3.3 million in a recent venture round, just a year after its initial $1 million funding. CEO Emily Steele, along with COO Charise Flynn, founded Hummingbirds in 2022 with a unique approach to hyperlocal influencer marketing.
Unlike traditional influencer marketing platforms, Hummingbirds connects brands with local individuals in specific target locations who have expressed interest in creating content. This innovative approach, discussed during our Localogy Place24 session sponsored by DevHub, sets Hummingbirds apart, creating a digital platform that facilitates genuine connections between brands and local creators.
The latest funding round, led by Indianapolis venture firm Ground Game, features participation from key investors, including Allos Ventures, FJ Labs, and Midwest-based individual investors such as Tej Dhawan from Des Moines. The continuity of support from investors underscores the value they see in Hummingbirds’ human-centered approach to marketing.
Aman Brar, a founding partner of Ground Game, expressed excitement about Hummingbirds’ unique platform, emphasizing the importance of authentic, community-driven human connections in marketing. The funds raised will be directed toward improving technology and accelerating expansion, with plans to open two to three times the number of cities this year.
Steele highlighted the company’s rapid growth, expanding from three to 14 cities across the Midwest in a single year. The focus on mid-sized Midwestern cities like Des Moines, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis has proven successful for the company.
Steele mentioned that this funding round is expected to sustain her company for the next couple of years, with plans to potentially raise a Series A in the future. Despite the challenges female founders in the Midwest face in the current fundraising environment, Steele emphasized the company’s traction, approaching $1 million in recurring revenue within its first year.
Hummingbirds aims to strike a balance between working with recognized brands like Hy-Vee and Warner Brothers and supporting truly local businesses. Steele emphasized the importance of maintaining a platform that reflects the local flavor and sets Hummingbirds apart in the hyperlocal marketing landscape.