Bristol tech start-up working with Asos and Dove raises £2.5m


A Bristol-based tech start-up which has been used by global firms such as Asos and Unilever to drive word-of-mouth sales has raised £2.5m in funding.

Duel has developed a platform for consumer brands to engage with and grow via communities of advocates – such as customer ambassadors, socially active followers, and industry professionals.

Co-Founder and chief executive Paul Archer said content created by “real people” was becoming more influential on purchase decisions, as opposed to “ads generated by businesses”.

Mr Archer explained: “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.

“The biggest problem larger brands face in unlocking the potential of this opportunity is managing the scale required to build and nurture relationships with all their advocates. We created Duel to do just that.”

Duel, which also has an office in London, previously raised £1.8m in 2020 to develop its brand advocacy tools, advance its patented curation AI and hire more staff.

The business said the investment secured in its latest seed funding round – which was led by venture capital firm SuperSeed – would enable it to continue its 13% monthly growth rate this year.

It also said the money would help it to attract and develop more talent to support the company’s “ambitious” plans and better serve its growing portfolio – which also includes brands such as Dove and Charlotte Tilbury.

Mads Jensen, managing partner at SuperSeed, said: “Thanks to Duel, consumer brands can track, measure and coordinate thousands of their own advocates at scale, massively accelerating social commerce, a market opportunity set to be worth $1.2tn by 2025.

“We believe this company has the potential to become one of the most important SaaS companies to emerge from the UK in years. Watch this space.”

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