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Durham tech startup Kevel raises $10 million to expand clientele, further develop platform

<p>Downtown Durham.</p>

Downtown Durham.

Durham-based tech startup Kevel recently fundraised $10 million in investments, which will be used to expand the team, acquire more partnerships and develop advanced product features. 

Kevel closed on the funds in a Series B fundraising round, which is meant to take businesses “to the next level” according to Investopedia.

Kevel is an Application Programming Interface (API) platform that companies use to build custom advertising platforms, such as sponsored listings and internal promotions. Their clients include Ticketmaster, Klarna and Yelp. The startup is committed to generating new revenue for publishers and helping them regain some power from the large monopolies that dominate the internet. 

Kevel founder and CEO James Avery started the company in 2010 as one of Durham’s earlier startups. As a software engineer, he built the first version of Kevel’s platform and began raising money in 2011. The company continued to pivot into an API platform and raised $11 million in 2020. 

“Recently, our current investors love the attraction we're getting and offered us an additional investment at a good valuation, so we went ahead and raised another $10 million to continue accelerating growth,” Avery said. 

Kevel plans to expand further and invest in hiring more engineers, product managers and salespeople. They are hoping to expand into Southeast Asia and Europe. Currently, more than 50% of its United States workforce is located outside of the Durham area. 

“With COVID-19, we've started hiring everywhere. So, despite COVID-19, we've grown a lot this year with many remote hires,” Avery said. 

Kevel expects to hit 60% growth in 2021. With the new funding, the company will continue expanding its client base and will offer more advanced features to efficiently monetize ad platforms.

Editor's note: At publication, this article was attributed to Velda Wang. It was written by Violet Wang. The Chronicle regrets the error.


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