AI-driven advertising platform Kobe connects brands with relevant influencers

ST Bureau

Kobe AI-driven advertising platform
that pairs advertisers with relevant everyday influencers, leveraging on their
ability to broadcast messages to millions of users so that businesses can get
represented in front of their target audience in a credible manner.

Kobe’s AI function is able to figure
out the interest of an individual, based on what he posts and comments online
made seen to the public. This includes one’s interest in health and fitness,
food, beauty products, latest clothing fashion and many more.

In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal, Evangeline Leong, Founder & Director of Kobe shares more insights about the venture and future goals.


Evangeline Leong,
Founder & Director of Kobe
Tell us more about Kobe.
Seeing the lack of marketplace for
social media users to generate more traction out of their social media content,
Kobe serves this function as an AI-driven advertising marketplace and
self-serve platform (agnostic to social media platforms) that ride on deep
analytics and smart aggregation, pairing advertisers with everyday influencers.
As what it stands for,
口碑 (Kobe) spreads advertising messages
through people instead of ads, by giving advertisers targeted and scalable
word-of-mouth through social media on an outcome-driven manner to deliver real
customer impact and credibility for your brand.

How do you leverage Artificial Intelligence to create an advertising platform
with an outcome-oriented approach?

Our AI function is able to figure out
the interest of an individual, based on what he posts and comments online made
seen to the public. This includes one’s interest in health and fitness, food,
beauty products, latest clothing fashion and many more.

This programmatic and objective
pairing process allows influencers to be fairly represented and accurately
paired with advertisers.

We have a pending patent pricing
algorithm that ensures that the outreach and engagements we promise to our
clients are met if not over exceeded, backed up by quantifiable figures that is

What business opportunities do you see particularly in your sector- Influencer

Being in the digital marketing
industry focusing on SMEs for almost 10 years (in the perspective of the
founders), we’ve seen how slow small businesses’ adoption of digital solutions
had been due to unfamiliarity of digital marketing solution.

Our self-serve, easy-to-use platform
cracks the slow moving long-tail market. That’s also why we called ourselves
Kobe. Kobe means
口碑 in Chinese – which is an auspicious
word that stands for good reputation, word of mouth.

We managed to break down the barriers
of mystique about digital marketing for ‘uncles and aunties’ in the local SME
market as this colloquial word would be familiar to them. Can you imagine
getting a duck-rice stall embark on digital marketing solutions?

We did exactly that –
Apart from the long-tail SME scene,
there is a good amount of education opportunities in social media and content
creation. Businesses have been demanding for learning opportunities in digital
marketing – especially in the areas of social media and content marketing.
Influencer marketing is uniquely positioned to tap on these opportunities with
its ability to learn from outstanding individual influencers on their content
creation skills, and their constantly up-to-date social media trends and

How brands can reach their respective target audience while using Kobe in a
cost efficient manner?

As aided by our AI, our relevant
everyday influencers are the very authentic voice to what their real passion
is, as they speak about brands that relate to them. In that way, it would be a
natural pairing and brands will benefit from reliable and trustworthy everyday
influencers who interact closely with their knitted community of followers.

Unlike brand-driven advertisements or
content, influencer marketing – through the voices of 3rd party opinions,
brands can elevate their credibility, share alternative perspectives and build
trusted awareness through social media users sharing on Instagram or Facebook

Moreover, brands are able to decide
for themselves how much outreach and engagement they deem desirable, according
to the priority of their campaign. The pricing is supported deliverables in
reach and engagement; that is trackable, allowing every dollar spent on the
campaign to be worthwhile.

Can you explain your business model? How do you generate revenue streams?

We take a cut from what the
advertisers spend with us that delivers them guaranteed KPIs in reach and
engagement, and the remaining goes to influencers – all via our pending patent
pricing algorithm. There is no management fees on top of influencer marketing

As an entrepreneur, what challenges do you face in your day to day professional
life, if any?

Outreach and credibility. A startup
always faces the challenges of getting people to trust, and buy! We have had to
convince people – “Hey we’re real, yes here’s our ACRA profile, and we actually
have an office!” coupled with the (digital marketing) industry we’re in,
there’s a lot of education before the actual sale so the sales cycle is longer.

Being with CommunicAsia – a long
trusted brand – elevates our credibility as well. That’s why we’re here.

What are your future plans?

This year is really about foundation
strengthening – to get ourselves into a right linear momentum in our revenue
growth and building a strong team culture. Next, it’ll be an expansion into neighbouring
markets in Asia. At Kobe, we believe in the power of small businesses and are
focused on helping them digitally transform their marketing channels. Our
vision is to be the enabler of cross-border programmatic influencer marketing
across Asia.

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