What future are you building?

Get insights from our founders and portfolio news straight to your inbox.

  • Portfolio News
  • 12 July 2016
  • 9 min read
  • Words: Northzone

Universal Avenue closes A Round

Universal Avenue, the on-demand sales service, has raised $10m in venture capital in its series A funding round, to further expand global operations. The investment round was led by Eight Roads, the Venture Capital arm of Fidelity International, with participation from existing investors Northzone and MOOR, and brings the total funding raised to $17m.

Universal Avenue has quickly established itself as a market leader in connecting growing businesses with a freelancing salesforce to drive customer acquisition, a model that introduces sales to the on-demand economy. Active already in the UK, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Norway and Finland, Universal Avenue allows businesses with high growth potential to test new markets, expand and scale without carrying the risks of using internal sales forces. For sales professionals, this means they can work flexible hours, travel as they work and be their own boss. The company plans to launch in the US and further in Europe later this year.

“With its global reach and excellent track record, Eight Roads is a great addition to an already strong cap table. This series A round of funding will allow us to grow further and faster and enable Universal Avenue to become a truly global on-demand sales service. We are packaging a service that fits companies with ambitious sales and expansion targets, along with the need to manage overhead costs and keep risk at bay. The team and I are delighted to see a continuous stream of leading global brands trusting and joining our platform”, says Universal Avenue´s Co-Founder and CEO Johan Lilja.

“Universal Avenue offers a very scalable product that meets a growing market demand. With a solid portfolio of Brands, Universal Avenue has in a short time positioned itself as a market leader within the area of on-demand-sales. We’re impressed with the experienced and dynamic team, as well as their company culture and their high caliber Brand Ambassadors.” says Managing Partner at Eight Roads, Davor Hebel, who will also join Universal Avenue´s board.

“At the core of Northzone’s investment in Universal Avenue is the thesis that fast growing companies today will have to be more creative in how they expand, acquire new customers and manage overhead costs. This includes how they look at building their workforce. Lots of digital brands are successfully outsourcing in disciplines like engineering, but they have been underserved when it comes to good options for sales. Universal Avenue is offering a unique solution for these companies and we are impressed with what they have achieved so far”, says Hans Otterling, General Partner at Northzone.

“The myth of big corporations offering job security is fading – people want more control of their work lives and many find it more secure to work for themselves, with projects they’ve chosen. These changes are particularly prominent in the US, where more than 40% of the working population is predicted to do away with the 9-5 office culture over the next four years, in favor of working for themselves”, says Lilja.