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  • Writer's pictureGushcloud International

Shaping the future of influencer marketing


SINCE co-founding Gushcloud International 12 years ago, Althea Lim has set her sights on the company becoming one of the region’s largest influencer marketing networks. Starting as a two-person team with Lim and co-founder Vincent Ha, Gushcloud today has operations in 11 countries, including China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and the United States, and has more than 300 full-time staff.


“We grew obsessed with being the largest influencer marketing network across South-east Asia; setting up offices in every major city in the region, signing top creators and influencers. And today, we are a global content and brand management company powered by influencers and creators,” says Lim, who was honoured with the EY Entrepreneur of The Year award in the New Media and Entertainment category for 2023.


“We have always envisioned bridging the gap between the East and the West in terms of talent, exposure, synergy, and opportunities,” she adds.


Gushcloud connects audiences and brands to influencers and content creators through representation and management, brand strategy, as well as marketing and activation activities, among other services. Lim views influencer marketing as a key driver in the global economy, and Gushcloud is playing a pivotal role in professionalising this space.


Lim attributes the company’s success to its “360 solutions ecosystem”, as well as its investment in technology and talent that enables it to build efficient processes and make “non-emotional”, data-driven decisions. This strategy has fuelled the company’s rapid growth, and resulted in Gushcloud being recognised as one of “Singapore’s Fastest Growing Companies” by The Straits Times in 2021 and 2022.


Yet, Gushcloud’s path to success has been paved with multiple obstacles. In 2014, the company faced a public relations crisis when it was “cancelled” on social media by one of Singapore’s then biggest influencers. Under the guidance of former Mediacorp chairman Lucas Chow, Gushcloud re-established its brand promise and values, reaffirming its commitment to trust and integrity. Then in 2015, the founders made the strategic decision to sell, and later buy back, the majority of the company from a Korean marketing firm; a process that Lim acknowledges as extremely challenging.


“The buyback process was a very long and difficult journey for my management team and myself, because there were no entrepreneurs from whom we could seek advice as very few had journeyed that path. Thankfully, one of our investors, GDP Ventures, stepped up and journeyed with us through the two years of buyback, and we will always be grateful to them,” recalls Lim.

The pandemic posed another set of challenges, forcing Gushcloud to pivot and adapt. Says Lim: “What came out of the pandemic for me were two things that I wake up to every day:

  • passion – that I continue to love what I am doing, and

  • compassion – that I continue to want to make the creator economy a better place for all of us.”


Balancing business and ethics


For Lim, the alignment of professional and personal ethics is non-negotiable. This principle guides Gushcloud’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which prioritises the importance of internal team care and sustainability before external projects.

“We have to think about improving our team members’ and their families’ lives first before we can even think about external CSR projects. That is what I believe in – that CSR, like charity, starts at home,” she explains.


Gushcloud is also committed to creating sustainable jobs within the creator economy. To this end, the company works to enhance transparency and authenticity in the space by employing technology to ensure that it only works with influencers with legitimate following and engagement.


Looking ahead, the company is planning to open its 12th office in the Middle East, and is also eyeing an initial public offering. “It will be the start of building a 100-year-old company alongside all our teammates, our partners, and our creators,” says Lim.


“For myself, I hope this will be the last company I work for. I hope to continue building sustainable jobs for the creator economy alongside teammates, peers in the industry, and look towards developing more jobs for nations together.”


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