Timothy Armoo is the co-founder of the social media advertising business, Fanbytes. The British Ghanaian started the business in 2017 while in college and scaled it up to 65 workers. The company connects social media influencers from TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat to big brands.
He started the London company with two other Black entrepreneurs, Ambrose Cooke and Mitchell Fasanya. They combined their expertise together to establish Fanbytes, according to the BBC.
The company’s proprietary algorithm was developed by Cooke as part of his university dissertation at Imperial College, London. The algorithm works in such a way that it can sign rising social media influencers even before they become popular.
Fanbytes has worked with some of TikTok’s biggest stars, like Rhia, from the UK, who has over 14 million followers, and vlogger Bella Poarch with 89 million followers, according to the BBC. Armoo has also helped brands like Nike and McDonald’s reach GenZ audiences across various platforms.
“I cofounded Fanbytes which helps organizations like the UK Government, Apple, Deliveroo, Mattel, and Rubik’s to win the hearts of Gen Z on social media,” said the 27-year-old. “We’ve built technology that helps us identify what Gen Z are thinking about and through our combination of influencers, content, and exclusively managed talent interpret those strategies into award-winning campaigns that build brand equity and brand love.”
Recently, Armoo sold the company for an eight-figure sum to a large advertising company called Brainlabs. It is unclear what his next business is and the exact eight-figure sum is yet to be made known.
“‘We built this with no handouts. No silver spoon. We didn’t look the part. We didn’t sound the part. But we hustled and learnt like mad,” he told The Times. “To an eight-figure exit.”
The influencer market is set to grow and generate $2.85 billion over the next three years, and so many brands like Brainlabs want to tap into it.
Building a successful business to attract the attention of established players does not come easy for many Black entrepreneurs. One of the major challenges has been funding. Black founders still receive just a tiny fraction of venture funding. Research suggests that just 0.24% of UK venture capital investment went to Black founders between 2009 and 2019.
For Armoo, he sees himself as an entrepreneur first, then a black entrepreneur,” he told BBC. “Otherwise, you start to put too much emphasis on your race and you start to think about all the statistics around lower funding rates, or lack of exits, which results in you mentally playing on the back foot. Be objective, and solve problems. Focus on being so good they can’t ignore you.”
Armoo was born in London but relocated to Ghana to live with his grandmother until he was 10 years old. His father is a first-generation immigrant. When he went back to London, he lived with his father in Mawby House council estate on the Old Kent Road, in a flat.
He recalled being a poor kid in a family that did not have a lot of money. But that “put some steely determination in me,” he said. He was lucky to get a scholarship to attend an independent school, Christ’s Hospital in London. According to him, the school introduced him to a world he had never seen before and it also gave him a sense of confidence in what is possible.
By the age of 17, Armoo had built and sold his first business, Entrepreneur Express, which he said taught him a lot about everything that was to come with Fanbytes.