Finding the right venue space within budget, location and size constraints can be the toughest part of planning an event. And the most time-intensive part of the process is doing the due-diligence around booking a space, from finding contacts to calling event managers to find info about size, price, to signing contracts and more. While hiring an event planner can save some of the strain caused by this responsibility, this can be an expensive undertaking. Today, Y Combinator-backed Venuetastic is launching as an easy to use event venue marketplace. It’s essentially a comparison shopping site for booking event venues.
Venuetastic lists features of event space, ranging from those catered towards corporate events, to wedding spaces. People can search for venues and compare them (based on capacity, location, price, type of space, and type of event), and bookmark venues that are promising.
For venues, Venuetastic is free to list on the site and free to use it. Venues can upload all the information about their space, including photos, videos and more. And Venuetastic essentially automates the booking process, and coordinates contract signing, and payments. The startup makes money by charging a commission on bookings.
The startup’s co-founders Helen Belogolova and Christine Yen (this is the first all-female startup Y Combinator has funded), tell me that the site also aims to bring businesses who don’t specifically work in events (i.e. art galleries) with non-traditional, large commercial space into the mix to provide more options for consumers and potentially give businesses a new revenue stream.
While Venuetastic is initially focusing on the Bay Area, the startup already covers a vast number of potential spaces in the region with over 500 venues listed. And the company has already helped coordinate event space for a number of startups. For example, DropBox recently used Venuetastic to coordinate a arty, explaining that using the service “allowed us to have the free time to focus on making it a good time.”
Venuetastic faces competition from Evenues and Cvent. But event planning and booking is such a large market, there is room for a number of players in this space.