In four years, her affiliate marketing system, rewardStyle, which connects digital content creators with brands and retailers, allowing bloggers and digital publishers to monetise their sites, has generated $500 million in sales and is expected to drive a further $500 million this year alone. And with its offshoot shopping tool, Liketoknow.it, Venz Box has taken on Instagram.
Venz Box started rewardStyle with then-boyfriend, now-husband Baxter Box in 2011, after realising that her personal fashion blog, Venzedits, was driving significant business for the brands she featured, without her taking a cut.
Today, the invitation-only monetisation platform connects over 9,000 of the most influential fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers and digital publishers with over 4,000 retailers and 2,000,000 brands, from Neiman Marcus , Net-a-Porter and Alexander Wang , to Asos and Topshop.
Simple in principle, rewardStyle capitalised on the growing marketing power of fashion’s online content creators. Publishers, who are either invited or apply to be part of the platform, can insert links to products featured in their posts — directing readers to where they can purchase a particular item. When a reader clicks on the link, a cookie lodges in their browser for 30 days and if they purchase anything during that time, the blogger gets seven to 20 percent commission, while rewardStyle takes another cut. Liketoknow.it offers a similar service for Instagram — when a user likes a photo that has been tagged with the app, Liketoknow.it emails them the relevant links. Users can choose to have a curated email of links once a week instead, but most want the information instantaneously.
This summer, the company raised $15 million in funding (after being valued at $290 million) from a slew of high profile investors including Veronica Chou, president of Iconix China and Miroslava Duma , founder of Buro 24/7.