Universal Avenue wants to help businesses enter new markets with a team of freelance marketers

universalavenueEven after a startup gets off the ground, one of the next moves is frequently to expand internationally, which can present further problems. Finnish startup Universal Avenue aims to help startups (or really any business operating globally) to deal with the issue of employing local salespeople and marketers.

The idea behind brand ambassador is that those interested in working part-time or full-time can sign up to promote certain brands to local businesses, be they restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. These “brand ambassadors” are not hired by the company, but rather act as an on-demand marketing team in whatever country the company hopes to operate. The ambassadors are not just sent out there without direction, as those who have their applications accepted are required to complete interactive training and then interact with a coach, who acts as a sort of full-time mentor.

A representative from the company tells me that the idea sprung up as co-founders Johan Lilja and Petter Hederstedt were travelling and found that many people seek to make a meaningful impact in the world, but did not necessarily want to be locked in to anything.

Although Universal Avenue only launched this year, they have already opened several offices in Europe, maintaining their home base in Stockholm and another branch in Greece, as well one in the United Kingdom as of this month. They are not stopping there, however, as the company says that they plan to move into a few other European countries by the end of this year and then turn their sights towards North America. At the moment, the company is not revealing how many people use the service.

Before the company even launched, they picked up a solid bit of external funding, obtaining $2 million in a seed round from Moor, which is the investment arm of Rovio Games founder Kaj Hed.

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