“I was my first customer. I was living at home eating my dad’s cereal and I was highly motivated.”
Amber Venz Box
Co-Founder and President
.…on how she launched her $2 billion influencer marketing platform LTK with only $236 in her bank account, via Fortune.
Dallas-based LTK helped create the creator economy when it was founded in 2011, launching a new category that monetized Instagram and allowed lifestyle creators to become entrepreneurs. It was valued at $2 billion just 10 years later, and continues to be a leader in a three-sided tech marketplace that serving creators, brands, and shoppers.
But when Venz Box first started the company, she had only $236 in her bank account, according to Fortune.
“People always say, ‘Oh, did you risk it all?’ I was like, ‘I risked $236,'” she told Fortune.
Working with an engineer, her then-boyfriend and current husband, LTK CEO Baxter Box, Venz Box shifted from being a personal shopper in Dallas to marketing her services on her website, with Baxter developing clickable links to products she touted, which led to affiliate sales commissions. The co-founders realized that a similar approach could work for influencers and creators everywhere.
“LTK started with a mission that was very personal to me and to our friends, and it still very much so is,” Venz Box told Fortune. “I tell our team members—all 750 of them—this is not a mission statement that’s on the wall. We’re not secretly running some other business. We only make money when our creators make money.”
More than 90% of those creators are women, Fortune noted, and Venz Box says over 200 of them have become millionaires via the platform.
Meanwhile, the company keeps on innovating. In March, LTK launched LTK Boost, a new solution enabling social media advertising for brands to further leverage LTK Creator content to drive business outcomes.
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