Invite-only marketplace Pollen, formerly known as Verve, has raised $60 million in new financing, bringing the total capital raised to date to $100 million.
The raise was led by Northzone and included participation from Sienna Capital, among others, and existing investors including Draper Esprit, Backed and Kindred. Gareth Jefferies of Northzone and Timo Boldt, founder and CEO of Gousto, have joined the board.
The financing will allow Pollen to scale its influential membership base and expand more deeply into music, sports and travel, with plans to move into other experiences and products in the future, tapping into an increasingly larger share of the $800 billion that 16–28-year-olds spend annually.
Pollen’s growing portfolio of travel and music experiences ranges from beach holidays and festivals to city weekends and a broad range of ski packages. To help achieve this goal as part of the funding round Pollen has acquired Lifestylez, the largest college ski and snowboard experience player in North America, deepening Pollen’s reach within the travel industry.
The company has strategically leveraged acquisitions across North America to expand the breadth of experiences on the platform.
The marketplace has 35 thousand active members globally, and has sold almost one million experiences in total across travel, live events and festivals.
“We’ve known Callum and the team since early 2016 and the company has delivered on every milestone since then,” said Gareth Jefferies, Investment Manager at Northzone, an early investor in Spotify.
“The most exciting prospect for me is the potential the company has to play a pivotal role in how brands engage with an entire demographic. In a few years’ time, if the company continues to execute, Pollen can become one of the most culturally significant companies for Gen Z, and be the best way of buying not just festival tickets and holidays, but to access all sorts of products and services.”
“In today’s world, young people want to maximise what they want to do with their life because they’re more aware of the opportunities out there and their own potential,” added Callum, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder.
“Our model will allow members and their friends to discover and access experiences that are usually out of reach and at the same time create an incredibly powerful distribution channel for brands. This funding will allow us to move into more verticals and continue our global expansion.”