Carusele attracts $500,000 from investors

Content marketing startup Carusele is looking to hire up to half-a-dozen new employees after raising $500,000 from investors — its second round of funding this year.

The business, which operated in stealth mode for 12 months before its official launch in March, is on track to generate more than $2 million in revenue this year, said Jim Tobin, president of Carusele and Ignite Social Media. Carusele is a subsidiary of Ignite and is based at Ignite’s headquarters in Cary.

Carusele leverages social media through a network of 5,000 bloggers, YouTubers, Instagramers and others that it has amassed. It commissions content from them and then, after publication, syndicates that content by sharing it with others as well as paying to have it appear. Per federal guidelines, the content is disclosed as paid content.

“Content marketing (across social media) is hard to do at scale,” said Tobin. “What we have done is ramp it up to high-quality content at scale.”

A key to Carusele’s success, said Tobin, is it’s broad-based approach. It commissions a wealth of content and then decides which pieces to back based on how well they progress through the web of social media.

“We’ll just put out 100 good pieces of content and 10 or 20 will turn out to be great pieces of content, and then our system lets us promote those best pieces of content,” he said.

Carusele’s clients to date include the likes of Walgreens, Revlon, Campbell’s, CorningWare and Neutrogena.

Today Carusele, which raised $250,000 in funding earlier this year, has nine employees. Tobin wants to get five or six new staffers onboard quickly.

“I would hope to have them in place in the next 60-90 days,” he said.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii