Investors’ attention has been focused on event companies of late, especially as pandemic restrictions around the world are easing and events are getting personal again.
This year, we’ve seen companies like EventX, Twine, Vendelux, and Zuddl announce funding or strategic moves to compete for attendees’ attention.
It’s no longer just a matter of going to events, but helping attendees make the most of their time and money. According to data from Grandview Research, the global event management software market has grown from $1.5 billion in 2019 to $5.8 billion in 2020 and is set to nearly triple by 2028.
But not everything is rosy in the industry. While some virtual event companies, such as Hopin, have become some of the fastest growing companies in recent years because of this, the shift to in-person events is now slowing the demand for purely online events. This was one of the motivators for Hopin last week announcing that it was laying off 12% of its staff.
With B2B tech companies spending an average of 25% to 40% of their budget each year on marketing events to meet their pipeline goals, Goldcast hopes to shed some light on the “black box” impact on event revenue.
It is the latest startup that investors love as it develops a software stack designed for business-to-business marketers, hosts interactive virtual and hybrid events, go-to-market channels, and actionable account-based insights for used sales teams to show the pipeline impact of events.
The Boston-based company has raised $10 million in seed funding led by Unusual Ventures, with participation from HubSpot Ventures, Afore Capital, Underscore VC and a group of angel investors.
Palash Soni, CEO, started Goldcast with his colleagues from Harvard Business School, Kishore Kothandaraman and Aashish Srinivas, in June 2020. Before coming to the US for school, he worked for an adtech company and faced the challenge of the event team of the company in obtaining event data.
“We started thinking about an event CRM, but then the pandemic hit and I saw an even greater opportunity to build an end-to-end platform for businesses to have this pipeline,” Soni told TechCrunch .
The company’s technology has two parts: first, the event resources for producing everything from a webinar to a full event, and second, the integration of data analytics and workflows so that sales teams can figure out the impact of the events.
Soni said it competes with companies like Hopin and other event companies, but believes Goldcast stands out for its focus on B2B marketers and how those events drive the pipeline for businesses.
“We have many built-in integrations that capture everything from the participant, from registration to the end of the event,” he added. “The journey is simulated living in HubSpot or some other place, showing how involved someone was. You can then build models to say that these engagements led to this impact on the pipeline and see where it led.”
Goldcast officially launched its product in January 2021 and decided to go for seed funding after seeing an immediate fit in the product market, including reaching 100 customers and seeing it grow between 50% and 150% quarter over quarter over the past year. 12 months, Soni said. Clients on the list include Drift, Salesloft, Attentive, Weave, Toast, Avalara, and Microsoft GitHub.
He plans to use the new capital to expand Goldcast’s customer base and product development to take on larger customers, especially as larger conferences go back to face-to-face or even a mix of those and virtual.
As part of the investment, Sandhya Hegde, partner at Unusual Ventures, will join the board. He says today’s B2B companies want to use go-to-market strategies and a smart tech stack to secure sales, rather than the traditional mention of using the phone and “using brute force.”
Hegde, who has a product and technical background, worked in marketing prior to Unusual Ventures and said he was “shocked at how far behind the stack they were using.”
“Goldcast is focused on arranging proper leadership around lead flow management and integration,” he added. “Instead of the old ways of sending lots of emails to a database and hoping they somehow end up in the inbox, marketers can use virtual events as a scalable engagement channel.”