UK tech startup Verve has raised $18.5m (£14m) in a Series B round led by Draper Esprit.

The startup’s existing investors Kindred, Backed and Frontline Ventures also participated.

Previously known as StreetTeam, the company allows brands to run advocacy schemes on its sales platform.

Co-founded by siblings Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, Verve, white labels its software for customers and claims to be working with Live Nation, AEG, C3, Bonnaroo, React Presents and Bestival.

The company says it has achieved “significant success” within the live entertainment industry in the past year – growing from 170 t0 450 clients.

With $28.5m (£21m) in funding to date, Verve will use the new funds to expand its live entertainment software overseas and look to enter new markets.

Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, said: “Callum and Liam have built a world-class team who we back with full confidence and we very much believe in where Verve is heading. Today’s audience is becoming immune to traditional advertising and increasingly prefer to discover through friends and people they trust. Verve has already proven word-of-mouth is a scalable and powerful tool for live entertainment, and we will support them in taking this channel to other markets and sectors.”

Leila Zegna, founding partner at Kindred, added: “Kindred is delighted to have increased their commitment to Verve as a part of this financing round, joining a strong global venture capital brand in Draper Esprit.  Since our first investment in the company in 2016, we have been continually impressed by the buildout and strength of the management team, and consistent execution against ambitious product and commercial targets.  Going forward, we are excited about Verve’s ability to not only dominate the festivals market but also penetrate the enormous opportunities within music and sport on a global basis.”

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