Brella Secures $10M Series A Funding Led By Connected Capital
Below is our recent interview with Kavish Weerawardane, Product Marketing Manager at Brella:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Brella is a platform for virtual, hybrid and in-person events that captures and distills the essence of live business event experiences and translates them into an intuitive digital format. Our secret sauce is a unique combination of AI-powered matchmaking, modern UX & design practices and powerful analytics.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
- A: Brella secured a $10 M Series A funding round secured in a round led by Connected Capital and joined by returning investors, Vendep.
- The investment will be used for growing our engineering/product division, with a particular focus on UX and research. We aim to cater to the accelerating pace at which attendee, sponsor and organizer needs are changing, while maintaining the high-quality of development for which Brella is famous. This is especially vital as society reopens, and event professionals become increasingly comfortable with (and more particular about) technology.
- We also will invest in features to open new revenue streams and business models for professional business event organizers, such as 365 community building, a next-generation hybrid experience, improved analytics & reporting, attendee grouping and other essentials that help the industry bring virtual & live attendees together seamlessly while accurately measuring the real business impact.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Overall Brella focuses on the four core pillars of the event experience:
· Networking & interactions
· AI-matchmaking algorithm optimized for high quality connections
· Easy way to see availability and book meetings
· Virtual meeting rooms
· Breakout rooms
· Provable ROI metrics for business stakeholders & sponsors
· Comprehensive analytics covering live/virtual audiences, and the interactions that take place
· Providing simple, one-click export/import options for most popular CRMs
· Overall attendee experience
· World-class design, intuitive UI
· 1 minute sign-up and set-up for attendees
· Content delivery
· Multiple livestream hosting, virtual booths, microsites etc.
We approached the problem in a novel way, and built a precision tool that specializes in bringing audience interaction to life, either through livestreams or our proprietary AI-powered matchmaking functionality — instead of a bloated, sluggish platform bogged down by features.
Brella’s Key differentiators are:
· We have a strong emphasis on networking and matchmaking: Instead of adding networking as an afterthought, we built our event platform from the ground up around our existing AI-powered matchmaking capabilities, ensuring a high level of attendee interaction at every event touchpoint. Our matchmaking takes into account attendee interests, activity level and the intent behind their interest choices (i.e. do they want to invest / discuss / find a job in interest X”).
· Our product philosophy is vastly different from our competitors: While our competitors cater to the widest pool of event organizers possible, we instead double-down on professional conferences where networking and making connections is a top priority. Attendees are strapped for time and have extremely high expectations, so the platform must be able to deliver value instantly. To that end, we only build features that bring tangible value to attendees, as their experience dictates the success of the event.
- We partner with customers to help them succeed: In addition to our self-service product offering, we offer a highly popular platform access + customer success bundle, providing a dedicated customer success manager who can leverage the learnings we have gained from 10,000+ events to advise and assist our clients from start to finish. Brella events backed by our Customer Success team generally see 3x more overall engagement, resulting in higher satisfaction rates and a more successful event.
We can demonstrate traction through the following:
- 4x revenue in 2020 following a brief 1 month pivot into a standalone event platform (built around our existing networking tool),
- Thousands of events hosted since our pivot to virtual events,
- Over 1 million 1:1 meetings facilitated between professionals in many diverse verticals.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Our product philosophy and focus on intelligent networking/bringing attendees together has resulted in a stable platform that is loved by attendees and organizers alike. Unlike competitors who focus on feature volume, we carefully curate our features to provide maximum impact and benefits for organizers, sponsors and attendees alike.
This also provides us with greater agility, and lets us keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to constantly shifting industry trends and customer needs. This is a critical advantage for our customers as the event industry continues to experience paradigm shifts both small and large.