Feast It € 5m raise signals post-containment boom for event technology

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In-person events are back, and people want to make up for lost time. In the UK, a ticketing platform said it saw people expenditure 172% more on the events in relation to the pre-pandemic and there are around a million people on the brink of marriage after postponing weddings during the lockdown.

As a result of this resurgence, investor confidence in supporting event technology companies has returned. Feast It, a UK-based event platform, has just raised a € 5 million funding round, led by Fuel Ventures and backed by Best Nights VC, the investment arm of Jägermeister.

It’s not the only startup to benefit from the renewed trust of VCs to support in-person events.

Last week, OTA Insights, a UK startup providing data tools to hospitality businesses, raised an $ 80 million round. Earlier this month, Düsseldorf-based startup Vivenu, which runs an event ticketing platform, raised $ 50 million.

Feast It is co-founders Digby Vollrath and Hugo Campbell

“There is a mega-trend over thirty years in terms of consumers spending more on experiences than on material goods, and those experiences will always be physical,” says Digby Vollrath, co-founder of Feast It.

“Do I think people will continue to marry on Zoom?” No. And I have no interest in watching a live concert when I could go to a festival.

Survive blockages

Feast It, which was founded in 2017, uses an algorithm to match clients planning events to a range of vendors for things like food, music, or photography. They have been used to organize everything from parties for two to London Pride and music festivals.

When the first lockdown came in March of last year, Vollrath said the company saw a 98% drop in sales in 24 hours and remained stable for nine months.

“In the week after the pandemic, we sat down with investors and did a bridge tour, which meant we secured our track early enough and we were in a prime position because of it,” he said.

“Do I think people will continue to marry on Zoom?” No. And I have no interest in watching a live concert when I could go to a festival.

During the pandemic, investors put money into startups working on virtual event technology.

One of the biggest successes was the virtual event platform Hopin, also from the UK, which became the fastest growing European tech startup ever after hit a Valuation of $ 5 billion one year and nine months after launch.

Reacting to the rise in in-person events, Hopin has recently started expanding its offering of offline events. In June, it acquired US company Boomset, which supports in-person events with things like check-in kiosks and name badge printing.

What’s next for events?

The industry is about to be turned upside down, says Vollrath. For people wishing to organize an event, incumbent companies are either event organizers with a “little black book of people they have always worked with”, or companies offering a package for each type of event.

“With that you kind of get a carbon copy, a cut of what your experience looks like. Then the other option was basically to do it yourself, ”he says.

“Less than a week after the start of the pandemic, we sat down with investors and took a tour of the bridge”

Feast It’s next plan, while continuing to digitize the booking process, is to become an “end-to-end platform for every part of an event,” Vollrath explains, adding elements such as budgeting and event planning at the platform.

He also has an eye on expansion. “Our North Star in terms of funds was finding a German or Dutch investor because we knew we wanted to go to mainland Europe within the next 12-18 months,” says Vollrath and bringing Jägermeister’s investment arm on board, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Freya Pratty is the reporter for Sifted. She tweets from @FPratty



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