Originally published on ION.

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As the rise of influencer marketing fraud increases, one entrepreneur created a new platform to help provide greater transparency in the influencer process. Here’s why.

Influencer marketing fraud cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019, according to Cheq and economist Roberto Cavazos. The figure accounts for 15 percent of what the report predicts will be an $8.5 billion market in influencer marketing spend. 

Much of that fraud comes from fake social accounts, especially on Instagram, where a new report from Instascreener found fake accounts rose from one percent to 1.2 percent from September to December 2019. 

To help combat the rise of fake accounts and promote more transparency in influencer marketing, entrepreneur Aaron Simpson recently started a new platform. Kindred digitizes word-of-mouth recommendations on social media channels and turns them into direct sales for brands while offering customers deals. Plus, a percentage of each transaction goes toward a charity of the influencer’s choice.

The platform’s ability to attribute sales to specific influencers may be the solution the industry needs to achieve greater transparency. Here’s how it works: brands pay commission on any sales resulting from a Kindred influencer. A percentage of each transaction goes toward a charity of the influencer’s choice, ensuring brands are fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. The app’s emphasis on sales rather than audience size means there’s no smoke and mirrors—brands can track and measure the performance of the influencer’s posts.

“Kindred does something very simple, as it taps into two prevailing trends: a concern over how we consume as a society, and a growing skepticism around paid-to-post “influencer” marketing. For brands, Kindred is a new, authentic and direct link to customers, and for charities, it’s an amazing and original way to get straight to a younger audience–who very much want to contribute and are demanding this shift to conscious consumerism,” said Kindred COO Mike Gadd.

Influencers with any following size can join the app for free via the Apple Store and Google Play Store then share the products and services they love on their social media channels. Since launching six months ago, thousands of brands including Missguided, Gillette and Jimmy Choo have joined the Kindred community.