Through his nonprofit company Black Ambition, Pharrell Williams has invested in the start-up company Trend in its first round of pre-seed fundraising, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company has raised a total of $3 million through Flybridge, a venture capital firm. The music icon and business mogul said that he was drawn to Trend’s mission of empowerment and individuality through connecting brands and business to content creators, with a current focus on photographers and videographers. “They are enabling a whole new set of creators to harness the power of what makes them unique and allowing brands to tap into that magic and gather content from around the world, all while working through a single community and platform,” a quote on Trend’s website attributed to Pharrell Williams.
Trend touts to offer large brands with a custom content studio crowdsourced through their curated network of photographers, videographers, and content creators. The company functions as a creative agency which negotiates, finds, hires talent for its clients. The primary value the company offers is removing the hassle of negotiating pay and scope of work with talents, and dealing with any issues that may arise such as a photographer not delivering on the agreed photos, or damage to products used for photoshoots. It also promises its clients a network of diverse talent pool with varying race, gender, shape, size, and age. The company boasts that its content creators have created marketing content for Amazon, and Lyft. Trend says it charges clients $100 to $300 for 5 photos or 2 videos produced per content creator. As for its service supplier (the photographers and videographers Trend hires), the company promises free products, which may be provided by the brands, and a per gig payment — information on how much per gig are talents paid is not readily available on Trend’s website and social media accounts. “We believe anyone with a smartphone should have the power and tools to become a creator,” Trend co-founder and CEO Ramon Berrios said, as published by the Hollywood Reporter. “Today’s creators shouldn’t need to rely on pre-built audiences or the influencer economy, this is why we’ve built a community where passion partners with our platform to bring image and video content to over 1,000 brands, while empowering global creatives to make a salary doing what they love.”