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Eventbase lands US$6.5m investment, sets sights on data

Eventbase has raised US$14.5m to date
Eventbase CEO Jeff Sinclair, third from left, says the company's latest product will use user data to offer insights to clients | submitted

Eventbase Technology Inc. has raised another US$6.5 million in financing from a previous investor as well as a B.C. taxpayer-led fund.

The Vancouver-based tech firm announced July 12 that Madrona Venture Group and the B.C. Tech Fund, managed through Toronto’s Kensington Capital, participated in the financing.

Eventbase CEO Jeff Sinclair told Business in Vancouver he was excited for the B.C. Tech Fund to come on board as the company’s first Canadian investor.

“We really appreciate that they have a presence in Vancouver,” he said, referring to the local office Kensington set up as a condition for managing the provincial government’s tech startup fund.

“A lot of these firms fly in from Toronto and these guys are [here].”

Eventbase specializes in tailor-made mobile apps for large events, such as the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver or the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival.

For the latter event, the firm deployed 1,000 beacons — wireless devices that detect when a smartphone running an appropriate app is in close proximity — in 2015 to help festivalgoers connect to each other.

Organizers later invested in the Vancouver company through SXSW Tech Inc.

To date, Eventbase has raised US$14.5 million, which includes US$6 million in funding from a previous financing round led by Madrona in 2015.

Since then, Eventbase has grown from 70 employees to 120 employees occupying three storeys at a Yaletown office. Eleven more work out of an office in London.

Sinclair said Eventbase is now looking to capitalize on demand for customer data, launching a new product called Data Stream this week.

“Our customers would tell us we’d end up knowing more about their customers than they do,” he said.

“It’s very hard to get a CIO [chief information officer] to fill out a survey, but that same CIO would use the mobile app at the event and tell us exactly what they’re interested in, what kind of sessions they’re interested in, what kind of people they want to meet.”

The product was piloted at the SXSW festival in March, where it collected more than 250 million pieces of app usage data within the SXSW GO mobile app.

Organizers then used the app usage data to better understand customer behaviour through visualizations.

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