PR software startup Plaqad raises US$1.5m in seed fund, launches marketing platform

NIGERIA – Plaqad, a marketing and public relations software start-up, has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding led by its parent company, BlackHouse Media (BHM) and launched a marketing platform that lets brands advance an affordable, data-driven campaign from start to finish.

BHM is an international media and public relations company whose CEO is the founder of both companies.

Plaqad is scheduled to release its automated communications platform, built to help brands, agencies and individuals run end-to-end social and web campaigns.

According to the company, it is the first solution to offer a one-stop shop for all things needed to implement a successful marketing campaign.

“Plaqad levels the playing field, giving SMBs the ability to connect to quality service providers regardless of budget, while also promoting jobs to creatives through its marketplace.”

Gbenga Sogbaike – Co-founder and CEO, Plaqad

“Plaqad, a contorted way of spelling the word “placard,” is a protest against the norm, the traditional forms of communication that disenfranchise brands and people from effectively making their voices heard because of budget, location or size,” BHM and Plaqad Founder, Ayeni Adekunle said.

“As the first marketing software company from Africa launching on a global stage, we understand and recognize the importance of being heard and seen, hence our mantra, ‘Make your voice heard’.”

Plaqad says it integrates the features of an online freelance marketplace and a robust social media tracking analytics platform to help brands seamlessly connect with their target audience.

“Our platform gives every individual and brand with a message a voice in the marketplace by opening up access to quality talent and tools and automating the entire process of executing PR and marketing campaigns,” the start-up’s co-founder and CEO Gbenga Sogbaike said.

“Plaqad levels the playing field, giving SMBs the ability to connect to quality service providers regardless of budget, while also promoting jobs to creatives through its marketplace.”

Plaqad’s initial offering SocialCred’s algorithm measures real influence and minimizes influencer fraud by downplaying traditional metrics like follower count, reach and impressions, focusing instead on engagement rate, audience sentiments (positive, neutral or negative), and the creators’ ratio of original to shared posts within a 30-day window.

While designed as a tool for influencers and the brands that want to engage with them, the free app is available to all social media users. Individuals are awarded badges – titled A-Lister, Big Shot, Socialite, Trend Setter, JJC, Superstar, and Learner – based on their rankings.

According to ITWeb, Ayeni founded BlackHouse Media over 14 years ago, growing the company to almost a hundred staff, two subsidiaries, and a client roster of top-tier brands including Coca-Cola, Heineken, ViacomCBS, MultiChoice, MTN and Reckitt Benckiser.

“We conceived the idea for Plaqad to help democratise an important aspect of modern communications,” said Ayeni. “BHM is beyond excited by the opportunity to build and grow Plaqad.”

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