Gather Receives Strategic Investment From Shake Shack Founder’s Fund

Atlanta-based event management technology startup Gather has received a new strategic investment from Enlightened Hospitality Investments (EHI), a growth equity fund led by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer that invests in companies bringing innovation to the hospitality industry.

The fund is also affiliated with Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe.

“This new partnership provides us with resources and industry expertise to continue innovating, all while maintaining our dedication to customer service and doing everything we can to help our customers deliver exceptional event experiences,” Gather’s founder and CEO Nicholas Miller tells Hypepotamus.

“With Danny and EHI’s support, we will continue expanding the Gather Booking Network, connecting restaurants and venues to a network of 15 million planners and diners searching for event spaces.”

The undisclosed investment will go towards Gather’s continued scaling to increase its restaurant and venue clients’ revenue and leads.

Gather’s software helps event planners manage reservations, catering, employees, and incoming leads, creating a more efficient process and customer experience.

More than 5,000 restaurants and venues across the country use the event planning software, which has powered millions of events since being founded six years ago. The average event booked and managed through Gather grosses between $2,500 and $3,000, the company’s co-founder Alex Lassiter told Hypepotamus last year.

Earlier this month, Gather announced a partnership with reservation provider OpenTable to funnel leads from their Private Dining pages to the Gather platform. It also provides event planners with the chance to promote their venue directly through OpenTable Private Dining pages and track those conversions.

OpenTable joins other partnerships, including Yelp, BizBash, Wedding Spot, and others, within the Gather Booking Network. This Network opens up exposure to a network of 15 million planners and diners searching for event spaces through free listings on top of event planning sites.

EHI will gain a seat on Gather’s board, and the Union Square Hospitality Group will integrate the platform into its restaurants and other businesses.

“Gather’s people-first culture, intuitive events platform, and top marketplace solution are streamlining the private dining and events process for all stakeholders, and we couldn’t be more excited to play a role in helping to fuel their growth as they fulfill this much-needed opportunity within our industry,” said Meyer in a statement.

This growth round follows an undisclosed strategic investment in September of 2017 with enterprise software growth equity firm Vista Equity Partners. The Atlanta-based startup acquired digital venue marketplace EVENTup last June to increase their reach to over 12,500 restaurants and venues.

“Danny Meyer is an icon in this industry, and I can’t think of a more exciting or visionary partner than USHG and EHI to help us take the next leap in our journey,” says Miller.