Atlanta-based event management technology startup Gather has acquired digital venue marketplace EVENTup in a move that will bring together over 12,500 restaurants and venues under one platform. The combined company will continue both organizations’ missions to help event venues and planners connect more easily with consumers and increase revenue for their businesses.
“The EVENTup team has a deep understanding of the events industry and this partnership seemed like a natural fit for us,” Gather’s co-founder and SVP of Sales Alex Lassiter told Hypepotamus. “Not only do our goals of simplifying the events industry align, but we recognized the opportunity for our customer bases to complement each other, and further our individual momentum together. It’s beneficial to everyone that we work with.”
Chicago-based EVENTup helps users find and book a wide variety of event spaces, including less obvious ones like galleries, lofts or warehouses, through their online marketplace. The platform features more than 7,500 venues in 300 cities across the country.
“There’s a high cost to managing a restaurant or venue, just to make up for the rent alone,” says Lassiter. “One event can make or break an evening, a day, potentially a week for businesses when it comes to being in the red or in the black. The average event booked and managed through Gather grosses between $2,500 and $3,000.”
“Now with this partnership, we can offer our customers even more.”
Founded in 2013, Gather’s software platform helps businesses, mostly restaurants and event venues, manage event reservations, catering, employees, and incoming leads. More than 5,000 restaurants and venues across the country use the event planning software, which means a total of over 700,000 events in 2017 grossing more than $1 billion for their customers.
With this acquisition, Gather will now streamline the event process, offering customers both the opportunity to source event venues through EVENTup’s marketplace and then, once the venue is booked, seamlessly help them plan the logistics.
“We’ve seen great success year after year at Gather, and this new partnership will help us move and work even faster to continue transforming the events industry,” Gather’s CEO Nicholas Miller told Hypepotamus last fall. In September, Gather closed an undisclosed strategic investment with enterprise software-focused growth equity firm Vista Equity Partners to scale product development and hire more employees in sales and engineering. The company has been growing steadily since.
“We are thrilled to join the Gather team who, like us, is dedicated to digitizing the manual processes that make planning events difficult for venues today,” said Jayna Cooke, co-founder and CEO of EVENTup. “We are excited to work together to continue making events easy to plan and enjoyable to manage.”
Formerly the VP of business development at Groupon, Cooke was brought on to lead EVENTup as CEO in 2014 and shortly after, moved the company from California to Chicago. They have raised a total of $1.8 million in outside capital.
“We’re excited to be growing, as the additional support and resources allow our team to enable an even better experience for our customers,” says Lassiter. “Gather has accomplished a lot in the five years since we started, and we’re confident that we’ll be doing just as much in the next five.”
The EVENTup team will remain in Chicago and operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gather.
Photos courtesy of Gather