Pollen: using Gen Z advocacy in the experience economy

With consumers querying the authenticity of celebrity influencers, Pollen is incentivizing Gen Zers to share events and experiences with their friends. By rewarding advocates with perks instead of cash, this marketplace aims to encourage transparent and authentic recommendations.

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In 2007, 17-year-old Callum Negus-Fancey dropped out of school to create Let’s Go Crazy, an events website for British teens. But in 2020, he leaves the promotion to the 35,000 ‘Ambassadors’ registered with Pollen, an experience marketplace he founded in 2014 (then named Verve). Pollen has sold one million experiences to an audience of mostly 16- to 28-year-olds – from festivals to travel packages and club nights. Pollen works with around 500 brands including Live Nation, Eventbrite, and MGM Resorts and, in October 2019, announced a $60 million investment led by venture capital firm Northzone. [1] Some 80% of its revenues come from North America, with much of the rest coming from the UK. [2]