Internet Pipeline Inc. has obtained $18 million in backing from a group of investors that includes venture capitalists and its own managers.

IPipeline, Exton, Pa., says NewSpring Capital L.P., Radnor, Pa., and a venture capital arm of Fidelity Investments, Boston, led the financing effort.

IPipeline, an insurance distribution technology company, will use the money to expand sales and marketing efforts, develop new tools for agents, and make small acquisitions, the company says.

NewSpring believes iPipeline will benefit from insurers’ shift toward working with independent agents, rather than career agents, and an increasing need for tools to simplify the process of acquiring and administering clients’ business, according to Mike DiPiano, a NewSpring managing partner.