UK brand advocacy platform Duel has closed a $3m (£2.5m) seed funding round to support company growth and bring on additional staff.
Duel is looking to capitalise on the boom in influencer marketing by providing companies with a suite of tools to keep track of the performance of brand advocates.
Duel works with consumer brands, including ASOS, Dove, and make-up seller Charlotte Tilbury.
The company claims its influencer-focused digital marketing solutions can be more effective than traditional advertising methods and at a reduced cost. Data from Accenture predicted the social commerce market would be worth $1.2tn by 2025.
“We’re in the depths of a people-powered revolution when it comes to growing consumer brands, as now content created by real people influences so many of our purchase decisions, not ads generated by businesses,” said Duel co-founder and CEO, Paul Archer.
“If brands want to capitalise on the fact that commerce is rapidly moving to social, they need to tap into their own communities of people, identifying their most social, influential, and highly passionate brand fans, and then grow through them.”
Duel is designed for larger consumer companies to manage a sizeable community of brand advocates, whether it’s an influencer, athlete or content creator. The platform’s tools include affiliate and referral tracking, incentive distribution, and user-generated content for brands.
The investment was led by the London-based VC firm SuperSeed and follows a £1.8m funding round led by Downing Ventures in October 2020.
“For too long, consumer brands have been forced to rely on expensive ads to drive revenue. Duel’s technology is a game changer, as it helps brands reduce their reliance on ineffective advertising strategies and instead use their own communities to grow,” said SuperSeed managing partner Mads Jensen.
“Thanks to Duel, consumer brands can track, measure and coordinate thousands of their own advocates at scale, massively accelerating social commerce.”