Bizzabo gets $6.5M Series A to make organizing events easier

Bizzabo, a startup that wants to simplify the process of marketing events, has raised a Series A round of $6.5 million.

This brings its total funding to $14.5 million. Bizzabo, which is based in Tel Aviv and New York City, will continue to develop and add functions to its cloud-based event management platform.

Bizzabo’s Series A was led by Zvi Limon, a founding partner of Magma Venture Capital; Galileo Technology and Annapurna Labs co-founder Avigdor Willenz; and angel investor Danny Tocatly. Returning investors LionBird, Kaedan Capital, Yair Tauman, Gigi Levy, Eyal Ofer and Eli Alroy also participated.

The company launched in 2012 as a networking app for conference participants. Then in 2015, as the number of event apps increased, Bizzabo pivoted into making a customer relationship management platform for organizers.

The goal of Bizzabo’s software is to simplify event marketing by automating the process from start to finish. That means users can create marketing emails, an agenda and registration website and promotions with Bizzabo and then track user engagement, ticket revenue and attendance rates.

Bizzabo’s main competitor is Cvent, which is now the world’s largest event management software after it was acquired and merged with Lanyon by Vista Equity Partners for $1.65 billion last year.

Bizzabo founder and CEO Eran Ben-Shushan says his company differentiates by focusing on small and medium-sized businesses and digitizing more of the organizational process. He won’t disclose how many companies currently use Bizzabo, but claims it is in the “high hundreds.” Its highest-profile customers include GE, Virgin, USAA and The Lean Startup.

“Imagine the process from a promotional email to an event, whether the recipient clicks on an event website or not, the registration flow and how they engage with an event. Their digital footprints across the entire journey are collected into the platform and it helps them in an automated way,” says Ben-Shushan.

He adds that the acquisition of Cvent is “a big opportunity, because it means that private equity firms are doubling down on the space and there is huge room for innovation.”