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Kale’s co-founders Isha Patel and Luis Molina met while working at LinkedIn. Photo: Kale

Kale, a Startup That Makes Influencers Out of Customers, Raises Funding from Forerunner

Photo: Kale’s co-founders Isha Patel and Luis Molina met while working at LinkedIn. Photo: Kale

Kale, a New York-based startup, is taking a different approach to influencer marketing. It works with loyal customers of a brand who generally have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, rather than going for creators with hundreds of thousands—or millions—of followers. 

These super fans are then eligible for cashback rewards on items they’ve already purchased if they share them on social media. For example, a top Sephora customer could post about a new $20 lipstick on her Instagram account and receive between 5% and 100% cash back. That flips the typical arrangement between influencers and advertisers, who usually pay for sponsored posts with free products or offer cash upfront for posting.

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