SXSW Starts A VC Fund To Give Its Official App Maker Eventbase $2 Million

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Image Credits: SXSW (opens in a new window) under a license.

The creator of SXSW’s official mobile event guide app, Eventbase, has raised $2 million in Series A funding from the coffers of the music, film and interactive festival.

“This is the first of its kind. We formed this LLC specifically for Eventbase,” relayed SXSW’s CTO Scott Wilcox. Though he doesn’t foresee other investments in the future, Wilcox did indicate that the organization would be open to the right deal, “We wouldn’t rule that out,” he told TechCrunch

Eventbase has handled the SXSW Go mobile app for iOS and Android each year for the last five years of the conference. It’s a massive undertaking within an event that has basically taken on a life of its own. The main event hosts over 6,000 sessions. Though there are plenty of unauthorized events, parties and meetups within the main conference.
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Note that even Samsung split off from the core SXSW organization and set up shop across the street as a separate entity last year. Wilcox didn’t want to comment on how the SXSW organization plans to handle all that going forward, but did clarify that the app only manages official events.

Eventbase is also making strides into trade shows. The upcoming CES is not one of their clients. However, co-founder Jeff Sinclair did intimate that was on his list of prized possibilities.

SXSW is an unexpected funding entity, but it does make sense for it to invest in the event management space. Eventbase handles event guides for some of the largest gatherings in the world, including three Olympic games, several Comic-Cons, Cannes Lions, the Sundance Film Festival, ESPN, Disney and Lollapalooza.

The $2 million is a paltry sum, if you compare that to competitor DoubleDutch, which raised $19 million in a Series D in late August. But this is the first round of funding for the Vancouver-based startup.

According to Sinclair, Eventbase hasn’t had to raise any money till now. It was a bootstrapped startup initially and has apparently been profitable since nearly inception. Revenues are expected to be about $4 million this year, and are slated to nearly double that next year.

Sinclair says the money will be used as a sort of patch to help the company grow faster. The plan going forward is to use the new cash to build out unique technology such as iBeacon indoor location and a stronger dashboard analytics for brands. “We like to think of [the new funding] as rocket fuel,” Sinclair quipped.

SXSW takes place in Austin, Texas every March.

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