For those who’re a younger inventive in Malaysia that has been job-seeking prior to now couple of years, likelihood is you’ve heard of and even used Cult Inventive.
The startup has been featured on Vulcan Publish in its earlier days. On the time, it had launched as a job market, specialising in roles for creatives, as a lot of them had misplaced their jobs throughout the pandemic.
However greater than three years since its begin, the platform has outgrown that label to grow to be one thing larger, which is among the the explanation why on November 14, Cult Inventive introduced that it might be sunsetting its app.
Pivoting with a goal
To be clear, that is only a closure of the app itself, not Cult Inventive as a complete.
In a name with Shermaine Wong, the CEO of Cult Inventive, she gave a quick abstract of what Cult Inventive got down to do to start with.
Their mission was for creatives to be empowered with alternatives, sources, and freedom, serving to them obtain the three Ps—goal, ardour, and pay cheque.
Though the app was in a position fulfill its obligation of matching firms to creatives or vice versa, Shermaine realised that the workforce lacked managed over the “pay cheque” factor of their mission.
Usually, after matching creatives to their jobs, Cult Inventive was not be capable to hold tabs on what occurs subsequent. However sometimes, they might hear again from some creatives that received jobs by their platforms saying they have been underpaid, unpaid, or inconsistently paid.
On the time, although, the app’s tech was very restricted to serving as a job market. There have been no instruments to correctly observe what got here after the job match.
On high of the technological limitation, the workforce additionally observed a change within the job market. Throughout the pandemic, plenty of jobs have been on-line, however since restrictions have been lifted, extra employers are on the lookout for hybrid or on-site staff.
“Whereas firms wanted on-site, full-time staff, we realised that plenty of our creatives needed gig work,” Shermaine mentioned. “Plenty of them have been content material creators, they usually didn’t wish to work full time. So there was a mismatch as effectively.”
So, with the constraints and mismatch in thoughts, Cult Inventive determined to pivot.
Empowering creatives and educating manufacturers
Beginning in Could 2023, Cult Inventive started shifting away from the identification of a job platform to extra of a creator economic system platform to assist its 13,000 creators and 1,100 manufacturers collaborate. The job portal nonetheless exists, however the workforce’s focus has shifted in the direction of the creator economic system facet of issues.
Extra than simply bridging creators and types, Cult Inventive now performs a extra concerned function, providing extra instruments and merchandise for customers.
A key grievance they heard from creators was that many didn’t have precise authorized contracts and provide letters in place with manufacturers.
Thus, the platform now options instruments to generate authorized agreements, clear model briefs, and invoices, to assist guarantee they’re paid pretty and on time.
“I’m additionally defending the manufacturers as effectively,” Shermaine mentioned. “As a lot as I speak about creators, we really additionally assist manufacturers. We guarantee the target of the marketing campaign and that each time the creators submit their content material, it’s on time and it’s on model.”
By way of insights from the manufacturers on their platform, Cult Inventive learnt that a lot of them, particularly smaller ones, struggled to seek out content material creators. And once they did have entry to creators, they nonetheless didn’t know the way or who to rent, and what to inform them to do.
Realising that manufacturers wanted schooling as effectively, Cult Inventive has started internet hosting occasions such because the Small Enterprise Summit.
Regardless of not actively advertising and marketing the brand new service of connecting manufacturers with creators, Shermaine reported that there are already manufacturers on board, similar to Supermama Lab and Pavilion KL.
“These are all connections that I had, and likewise the present manufacturers that have been already in our ecosystem utilizing it,” she mentioned.
A latest product the platform has rolled out is a subscription mannequin beginning at RM1,800 that lets manufacturers work with 4 creators to make TikToks or Reels.
You may suppose that this service sounds just like what influencer businesses do, however Shermaine believes that the creators on Cult Inventive—who usually come from backgrounds like social media managers, videographers, or different roles within the inventive economic system—higher perceive briefs, storytelling, hooks, and targets.
Going ahead, the Cult Inventive model will proceed to assist upskill creators, that includes content material on the best way to rating a model deal, the best way to pitch a private model, and extra.
Not the top of the story, simply the beginning of a brand new chapter
Whereas causes for his or her pivot are clear, a query that also stays is why the workforce determined to axe their cellular app, as an alternative of repurposing it or updating it. In any case, the CEO mentioned that the final she checked, there have been about 60,000 downloads for the app.
Shermaine herself additionally appreciated the app, however there was simply too many limitations with the format. The workforce was continually struggling simply to get one characteristic throughout effectively.
To begin the slate clear, the workforce determined to simply shut down the app.
Believing that it was a improper choice to go straight to cellular, Cult Inventive will now be specializing in creating a very good net portal first for his or her refreshed platform.
That platform shouldn’t be prepared but, although. So, why shut the app now?
To that, Shermaine mentioned, “We realise that the optics, if we didn’t do that, could be fairly unclear. Folks have been nonetheless considering of us as a job platform, whereas we’re really rising to grow to be a extra creator-centric platform.”
The CEO informed us that the workforce is at present within the midst of a fundraising spherical. If all goes effectively, creatives can anticipate to see the beta model of the online app in Q1 2024.
Shermaine mentioned that whatever the funding, although, the workforce would nonetheless go forward and construct the platform—it’d take longer, however it’s nonetheless doable.
They’re already seeing constructive outcomes from the brand new pivot and realignment of their technique and path of the know-how, she added.
Though the brand new platform shouldn’t be out but, Cult Inventive continues to be actively working with creators and types, simply in a extra guide method. Creators can nonetheless apply to affix the platform through an Airtable kind, and manufacturers can schedule a name with the workforce.
Be taught extra about Cult Inventive right here.
Learn different articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: NEXEA / Cult Inventive