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Newsletter 09/2019

Member profile | Karl Mapstone


ABCD Member: Karl Mapstone

Karl hails from Cronulla and grew up in what is affectionately known in Sydney as The Shire. While in Australia Karl ran a sales team for a media group so has a strong background in media

Karl and Aaron (also from the shire) had known each other for a while and both recognised a gap in the market around social media influencers. They realised there had to be a better way to connect influencers with corporates using an easy, streamlined and secure platform so late 2014 they began pitching for capital seed funding for their idea. Using a basic power point Karl and Aaron did the rounds until 2015 when an incubator programme took them on, they spent 3 weeks surrounded by white boards to work out how to commercialise their idea.

What would become VAMP was started in Sydney where they did a lot of testing and control to identify if the business could be profitable. During this time, they built a bank of verified influencers, ironed out issues in the platform and began reaching out to corporates. VAMP opened for business mid to late 2015 at nights and on weekends as both Karl and Aaron were still working full-time to help fund it. It wasn’t long before Aaron moved to VAMP fulltime and Karl followed suit in 2016.

So why Dubai? Karl and Aaron – were on their way to a wedding in 2016 in Europe and had a stopover in Dubai and thought the UAE could have VAMP potential. Karl’s wife had lived here when she was with Emirates, so they had a bit of an idea of what living in Dubai would be like.

In January 2017 Karl and his wife, Alana moved to start up VAMP M.E. It took about six months to build traction and secure their first corporate client, however during that time Karl was building a Middle East influencer database. VAMP is a new approach to digital marketing in this region hence the time taken to find a brand willing to try something different. Now they are working with clients such as Timberland, Asus, Landmark Group and Mall of the Emirates and looking to expand into the region.

Karl and Alana have two lovely girls aged two and a half and just coming up to 9 weeks. Its a busy time in the Mapsonte household!

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