With the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing has become the new norm. Although this has negatively impacted various industries around the world, the online events industry has definitely benefited from it. This has led to a number of startups in the virtual event industry raising big rounds to fuel the growth.
Grip raises funding
Grip has raised $13M (approx €10.7M) in its series A round of funding. The round was led by London-based growth equity fund Kennet Partners. And, with this round, the company has now raised a total of $14.5M (nearly €12M), to date.
Founded in 2016, Grip a professional networking app for events. The Grip matchmaking app connects delegates, speakers, and exhibitors in a fast and simple way.
With its AI-powered matchmaking engine, the startup claims to have established millions of connections at thousands of events. It has worked with leading event organisers globally including Reed Exhibitions, Messe Frankfurt, VentureBeat, and TechCrunch
“Our mission is to empower organisers to bring professionals together to advance industries. This funding round is going to enable us to take the experience to a new level, leveraging our extensive industry-leading platform, offering unique value for Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person events,” says Tim Groot, CEO and founder of Grip.
“We’re going to invest heavily in our product and global expansion to support organisers across the world in the continued digitisation of their business and empower them to succeed in this new reality. Now, more than ever, we must do everything possible to help professionals connect in useful and meaningful ways,” he adds.
Besides, the platform can also be used for group conversations. The platform is reportedly working on a topic-based “speed networking” functionality to hold instant 3 minute conversations.
Grip can also be integrated with streaming platforms such as Vimeo, Youtube, Zoom, and BlueJeans, among others.
How is Grip different from its competitors?
The reason why Grip is different from its competition, Groot tells TechCrunch, is because “We took a slightly different approach. We managed to work in a plug-and-play method alongside other platforms. So grip gets used as a standalone virtual event platform by lots of these organisers. So they might use Hopin – a virtual events platform, for the conference but Grip for the networking. So maybe we managed to get more traction that way, over the course of 2020.”
Due to the pandemic last year, most of the startups in the networking space had to pivot rapidly, and so did Grip. Since then, the company has hosted over 100 events a month and was used by 1.5 million people. This resulted in a 4 times revenue gain for the company last year. This year it expects to do over 10,000 events on its platform with over 5 million participants, reports TC.