A number of influencers will receive stock options in Souler as part of its new Chosen Influencer Program announced Thursday morning. Souler, the e-commerce platform that enables influencers to sell their favorite brands and products directly to consumers, has selected a number of recipients based on their engagement levels, follower count, content type and market category.
“We were definitely inspired by what Jet.com did when they launched,” Josh Wexler, co-founder and CEO of Souler, told FN. “We felt like that was a really innovative way to help build awareness.”
In 2014, Jet.com offered stock options to the 10 “insiders” who signed up the most people to the platform prior to its launch. Wexler wants to create a similar community of mutual benefit, by giving its “chosen influencers” a real stake in the company. Going live Dec. 13 and available only to the influencers who joined the program at its outset, the stock options are allocated according to a tiered structure in correlation with social media following and market impact.
Souler had over 100 influencers and 40 brands on the platform when it launched this January, with brand numbers doubling to 80 by December. But its newest program will bring a number of new influencers to the platform, from male supermodel Broderick Hunter to Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad and opera star Marsha Thompson. While the Chosen Influencer Program is currently limited to offering equity ownership, Souler expects to use the program to launch new initiatives in the future.
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“We’re rewarding the community that we’re building by giving influencers the ability to participate in the value that we’re going to create across the market,” explained Wexler. “We think this is a great way for us to effectively put our money where our mouth is.”
For influencers who are not part of the Chosen Program, Souler still offers free access to the platform where they can sell products from brands they already work with, as well as from new brands who are signed up. They then receive a cut of the profits from each of the sales in their individual “Souler Stores.” Product categories available include fashion, home, health and beauty, outdoor, and kids, with footwear brands like Creative Recreation and SNKR Project represented on the site.