Gil Eyal
IMPACT INVESTING

Gil Eyal

#86

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Angel Investor, Influencer Marketing & Crypto Pioneer

Bringing celebrities to the table – Gil Eyal

“So people always come in for the celebrities for the visibility, but my argument is don’t forget about the credibility side.”

ABOUT

Gil is the Managing Partner of Starfund, which invests in consumer focused technology companies. He also works closely with the CEO and CINO of Silverstein Properties on the future of residential and commercial real estate in a post Covid-19 world. As an active entrepreneur, he was an early adopter of crypto and is continuing to invest his time into this rapidly growing sector.

Gil was the President and Founder of HYPR, the market leader in data-driven influencer marketing automation solutions, which was sold to Juliusworks in April 2020. Under Gil’s leadership, HYPR won multiple awards, including the 2019 Best Content Marketing Tech Platform, and Best Influencer Marketing Platform awards by Digiday, the 2017 International Performance Marketing award for Best Saas/Tracking Platform, the 2017 MarCom Award for excellence in Print Media, and the 2018 Martech award for Best Influencer Marketing Management Platform.

Gil has revolutionized the way many of the world’s biggest agencies and brands are running influencer marketing by focusing on the same data, analytics and audience demographic information relevant to traditional digital marketing. Gil was ranked #30 in the list of the most influential people in Influencer Marketing, and Nathan Latka crowned Gil as the “New King of Influencer Marketing” on his popular podcast. A veteran of over 200 celebrity endorsement deals, Gil has worked with many of the biggest names in music, film and sports including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Pitbull, Lance Armstrong, Lil Wayne, Zendaya, Stephen Curry and Serena Williams.

Gil is an accomplished public speaker, and has delivered keynotes at notable influencer marketing conferences, including Influencer Marketing Days in New York City, and Influencer Marketing Hub in London.

Recipient of the 2017 Digiday Top Boss award in the technology industry, Gil is an expert operator, team builder and marketing strategist. Gil is also a two-time winner of the MarCom award for Excellence in Marketing and Communications from Adweek.

Gil has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Gil Eyal

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the Supporters Fund, Ask An Angel. I’m your host, Jeffrey Potvin, and we like to welcome our investor today, which is Gil Eyal. How are you sir?

Gil: I’m great! Thanks for having me.

Jeffery: Awesome! Where are you calling in from today?

Gil: I’m at home, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Jeffery: I love it! New Jersey’s a great spot! You’re just a stone throw away from New York.

Gil: Literally, can see New York outside my window and say, “Oh, I’m so close to being cool,” but here I am in New Jersey.

Jeffery: I still think it’s cool if you can be a stone throw away from there and make your way over there in half-hour, or whatever the little timing is. That’s pretty brilliant!

Gil: That’s true, that’s true.

Jeffery: Not a lot of people get to say that but amazing. So excited to have you here today and the way we like to kind of start things off is we want to dive right into kind of your background: where you’ve come from, from starting and exiting out of hyper all the way through to working with tech stars, building your own fund. You’ve got a lot of great things, but I’ll let you talk a little bit more about kind of where that journey came from, and then once you get through all of that, one thing about you that nobody would know.

Gil: All right! Sounds good. So, you know, I’m a career switcher. I’ve been, you know, I got into digital marketing about 15 years ago and found myself relatively early in that process. Doing celebrity endorsements for companies I worked with because there was a desire to do it. Nobody really knew how to do it, so I did about 200 different deals with celebrities anywhere from Leonardo DiCaprio to Little Wayne, Adam Levine, over the years and realized what a big opportunity that was for brands to get visibility and credibility. So in 2013, I started a company called Hyper which was an early player in the influencer marketing space focused on data and analytics, and the understanding that really at the end of the day, you want to find people that are not only trustworthy, but also can provide you with visibility and credibility with the right audience. And you can convey the right message and you want to do that at scale, and we wanted to work with micro influencers because not every brand can afford the big names. So I ran that company for about eight years. Sold it about a year ago, and I partnered with a guy named Dredrick Irving, and with a guy named Talani Dredrickson plays in the NBA, and Talani has a long history of working with celebrities and we started “Star Fund” which basically invest in consumer focused startups that can benefit from the involvement of a celebrity that will generate both visibility and credibility for their products. So the ideal investment for us is something where people are literally going to say, “This can’t be true. I can’t believe there’s a product like this and they need somebody like a celebrity to show them that it works.” And my joke is always, if the rock has a full head of hair, I’ll believe that this product can grow hair. If you just tell me, I’m not going to believe it. So that’s kind of the background of how we got to investing. We do, anywhere from angel investments which are smaller 25,000 to 50k. As angels or larger syndicates of anywhere from 100k to 250,000 dollars exclusively in consumer, which kind of makes us a little unique and we bring along a celebrity or an influencer strategy that we help implement as part of our added value. So we don’t charge anything for it. We don’t take extra equity or anything like that. That’s just our, we believe every fund should have their extra value and that’s our extra value, and you know, you wanted something about me that people won’t believe is, I used to be a computer crimes investigator for the Israeli Army. So believe it or not, I know, I look like I’m basically a celebrity myself. But I used to be a nerd. Still am, yeah.

Jeffery: I like that! That’s awesome but now I’m gonna have to ask questions on this, so you were working. The last place I got to travel was, happened to be Middle East and I was in Israel, and I was checking out the stop scene there and it was pretty awesome. I came back and literally the world kicked off covid. So I was probably, I was back mid to late January and then that’s, everything broke loose. So yeah, but in going into that side of things, it’s pretty fascinating. So maybe share a little bit about that. What got you into it, why were you doing it or were you actually in the army and that’s why you were working in this type of role?

Gil: Yeah. So, you know, I was, I grown up in the US, came back to Israel. You get drafted when you turn 18 and they don’t really ask you or they ask you, but they don’t really care what you say when they ask you what you want to do. And I ended up being, you know, they were looking for people who had computer experience. I was like a little growth hacker, a little less growth, more hacking when I was younger, and I happen to have some knowledge. So I got into this unit that they were starting. This is back in 1995, so it’s not, you might be imaginin