In-person events are back, baby, and VendeluxThe AI-powered event intelligence platform tells event marketers who the key people are at what event.
The company was started by two former Shutterstock executives, Alex Reynolds and Stefan Deeran. They want to give event marketers and chief marketing officers a way to see what events customers and competitors are attending so they can make better decisions about what to attend or sponsor. .
Using artificial intelligence and predictive modeling, Vendelux offers 65 million data points at more than 160,000 global events, tradeshows and conferences, Reynolds told TechCrunch. We report on Vendelux’s approach in 2022 when the company raised $2.4 million. At that time, the company analyzed 30,000 events.
Personal events took a dive during the global pandemic, when the virtual conference started to emerge, with some, like Hopin, both growing quickly and also falling quickly while the events returned to normal. At the same time Hopin was, well, jumping, Reynolds and Deeran started the Vendelux.
Despite the virtual nature of events and conferences in the past, Reynolds noted that they are adamant that the events will return.
“We know the events will come back bigger than ever, and certainly fast so far, that’s the case – today’s events are bigger than 2019,” he said. “Everyone realizes the importance of being in person and what personal interaction can do, whether you’re talking about new business deals or meeting existing customers.”
As a result, Vendelux has seen “incredible tailwinds for the business and for the event space as a whole,” Reynolds said. He explained that was partly due to other marketing channels being hurt. For example, performance marketing is affected by privacy concerns and the opt-out of cookies.
At the same time, it is difficult to travel and see many clients or potential clients in one trip.
“It turns out that events are the best way to see your clients and your prospects in person,” says Reynolds. “Marketers are seeing this now, and we’re seeing a lot of dollars moving into the event space as a result.”
Since its last round of funding, the company has been working to better identify the people customers want to meet and then facilitate the interaction quickly and effectively. It also improves matchmaking capabilities and develops a collaborative digital planner for event marketers that ties in with a company’s customer relationship management tools.
Vendelux doubled its number of customers and tripled its annual recurring revenue last year. It has a free version of its software that is used by over 5,000 event marketers. It has also grown its customer base with businesses that now include PayPal, MongoDB, Okta and T-Mobile. In addition, it analyzes data from large conferences and begins working with event organizers.
With customer demand from the marketer and organizer angles, Reynolds and Deeran said it was time to find more venture capital. The company today announced a new $14 million Series A investment, led by FirstMark Capital, which includes participation from Cervin Ventures and the founders of some of the event’s organizers and marketers, including HLTH , ShopTalk, Money20/20, SaaStock, Connectiv Events and FT Live. Vendelux has now raised $16.4 million in total.
In addition to further product development and customer acquisition, Reynolds and Deeran aim to double their team by the end of 2024 and expand globally, including establishing a London-based team to serve to businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
“Once we’ve helped customers identify the right events to go to and who to meet, we want to continue the customer funnel,” says Reynolds. “Just knowing who those people are is invaluable. Then with those insights we take the next step to help customers book meetings with potential prospects, send them email campaigns or invite them to roundtables. There are integrations that we can build with many other tools to help complete that end-to-end journey and ultimately help marketers track value in this channel. “