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A millionaire plans to make Liverpool the influencer capital of Europe after launching a talent agency for wannabe TikTok stars.
Kamran Sankey, 27, has opened an agency inside the city's tallest building after selling a YouTube firm he started aged 17 for millions.
He and his partner Gabriela Blukacz, 20, launched 15Talent amid soaring internet use at the height of the pandemic in April.
Kamran, originally from Baku, Azerbaijan, said it is now growing at a "rapid rate" at West Tower, Liverpool Echo reports.
It began when the pair launched Gabriela's account Gabi Faye, which now has over 1.4m followers and gets 40m views a month – placing it in the UK's top 50.
Filmed at the couple's city centre home, videos for the account include Gabriela performing various tasks in front of the camera, and taking part in challenges such as getting covered in beans, milk and fizzy drinks. The couple said they started the idea while attempting to ease their boredom during lockdown.
Kamran said the firm has ambitions to become the "one stop solution" for influencers using the social media platform.
He said: "We wanted to test the waters with how effective TikTok is as a platform for creators that could provide viable monetised solutions. We have exceeded anything beyond our expectations with just how well our Gabi Faye brand came to grow.
"With the income the brand was generating across our internal network of advertisers, we believed the natural way to expand would be to provide this growth solution as well as our monetisation strategy through to other talented creators."
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The firm has landed "numerous" brand deals, meaning it expanded into a talent agency.
Kamran started his first company Illuminata TV at the age of 17 while studying for a degree – and it became a multi-million-pound conglomerate catering to over 40,000 YouTube creators. It was later sold to Dutch broadcaster ZoominTV. After that, Kamran provided a private consultancy advising other businesses on their growth strategy.
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He said: "[Launching during a pandemic] was not a risk for us. Online content consumption has greatly increased since the start of this pandemic globally and with that more brands started to come through to purchase campaigns across the ever-increasing scope of new creators."
The firm will represent influencers and give them a platform to connect with brands, and it is also on the lookout for new projects to increase revenue streams.
15Talent is also looking to create three jobs in the short term, and 20 by the end of next year.
Kamran added: "We would like 15Talent to become a one-stop solution for TikTok influencers across Europe, launching large scale tailored projects for each individual creator based on their niche.
"I believe there is a huge demand for both brands and influencers for an all in one agency that could effectively connect the two without hiccups which leads me to believe this could very well be as successful as my previous venture if not even more so."
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