How Breef is building relationships for project work

The platform connects brands with agencies for high-value projects, simplifying the process for client and agency alike.

Breef Asset B - Photo by Vanessa Granda

Emily Bibb and George Raptis used to struggle with the pacing and complexity of the agency outsourcing process when they were working with startups. Now, they believe they’ve developed a solution.

Breef is an online “agency marketplace” created by the duo that helps businesses of any size, from startup to large enterprise, find and enlist the help of boutique agencies on specific projects. It offers services from 5,000 of those agencies in 20 countries, including Canada’s Taylor Day and Public Office, among others.

Breef was founded in 2019, and announced today that it has secured $3.5 million in new investment, led by venture capital company Graycroft. Brands including Spotify, Brex, Shutterstock and Bluestone Lane have tapped the marketplace to find the expertise needed for individual projects that they lacked the talent to execute in-house.

Emily Bibb & George Raptis - Breef - Photo By Jacie Marguerite“What our model really supports is project-specific work, which companies are becoming more familiar and open with, particularly with the shift in the workforce that we’ve seen through the pandemic,” explains Raptis. “We think we have a role to play in democratizing the agency space.”

Through its platform, Breef expedites what was once a weeks-long process of searching for agencies, asking for referrals and establishing a working relationship. That has all been distilled by the service, so that “companies or brands using Breef can get pitches from leading boutique agencies in five days,” Raptis says.

The model also provides assistance to client businesses with their end of the process – something that is particularly helpful to startups and first-time business owners who might not fully understand everything they need to do to get the best results.

“We’re guiding users through a process that really had no structure before – everything from helping them outline their project, budget it, find suitable agency options and pay for it,” says Bibb. “We’re simplifying what was once a very complicated process through our platform.”

“We have experts on our side who are accessible and able to provide advice along the way,” adds Raptis. “That human touchpoint is really important when you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars with a team you might not have worked with before.”

While a more project-oriented approach to work has emerged in the industry – and given rise to freelance collectives and other entities that offer their services to brands in lieu of a dedicated marketing department or large agency – what differentiates Breef from others is its focus on relationships, Raptis says, with typical service engagements being, on average, six months in length.

“These are more complex, bespoke and not off-the-shelf types of projects. Our users aren’t clicking a button that says, ‘I want a logo,’ and then picking based on price,” he says. “Part of our offering is really focused on those relationships that do span longer, with higher-value projects. We provide a set of options for our client that gives an opportunity for them to see over a longer term what a partnership looks like.”

Breef has also launched a service called Breef Pay, currently in beta, which helps clients and agencies manage payments and cash-flow for higher value projects. Ultimately, Breef sees itself as a B2B platform that is focused on building and leveraging trust, says Bibb.

“Trust is highly important to us because we are working with some of the best marketers in the world,” she says.