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Tournament networking app Grip raises $13M, as pandemic forces events to stay virtual

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Tournament networking app Grip raises $13M, as pandemic forces events to stay virtual

With offline events now firmly moved to online for the foreseeable future, startups in the networking home had to pivot fast in the face of the pandemic. This type of was Grip, beforehand better identified as a networking app for bodily conferences (together with TechCrunch Disrupt, at one level). Since last year, Grip moved into an ‘omnichannel’ ride, combining assorted match kinds at some stage in virtual, hybrid, and live. That strategy appears to secure paid off as it has now raised a $13 million Series A funding round, taking its total amount raised to $14.5 million.

The round was led by London-based relate equity fund Kennet Partners. The elevate is reflective of the relate in online events, which seen London-based startup Hopin elevate a $40m Series A last year. Based in 2016, Grip counts some tidy match organizers as clients together with Reed Exhibitions and Messe Frankfurt.

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In a assertion Tim Groot, CEO and founder of Grip, said: “Our mission is to empower organizers to assure mavens together to advance industries. This funding round goes to allow us to assume the ride to a new stage, leveraging our broad commerce-leading platform, offering absorbing label for Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person events.”

He said they would now be investing closely in the product and having a ogle to international expansion.

Other competitors to Grip secure, in the past, included Brella which raised $1.5m, and Swapcard which raised $6m to date.

So why is it that Grip appears to secure pulled away from pack in this variety?

Groot told me: “We took a reasonably assorted approach in that we managed to work in a plug-and-play approach alongside other platforms. So grip gets ragged as a standalone virtual match platform by a range of these organizers. So that they could perchance simply exhaust Hopin for the convention but Grip for the networking. So perchance we managed to bag more traction that manner, over the course of 2020.”

In 2020, following the pivot to virtual events, Grip hosted over 100 events a month and was ragged by 1.5m folks. As a outcome, the corporate says income grew virtually 4x in 2020, and this year it expects to attain over 10,000 events on its platform with over 5 million participants.

Grips AI-powered algorithms imply attendees bag more customized matchmaking suggestions based on their pursuits, together with pre-match assembly scheduling. For exhibitors, the machine captures commerce leads and offers post-match analytics.

Other folks could perchance furthermore be added to meetings to secure neighborhood conversations and the startup is furthermore engaged on a topic-based “trip networking” functionality to again prompt 3 minute conversations.

Grip integrates with assorted streaming platforms such as Vimeo, Youtube, Zoom, BlueJeans and others, now not like “beefy-provider” platforms such as Hopin or Bizzabo.

Hillel Zidel, Accomplice at Kennet and Grip board member, added: “Grip’s capacity to arrange virtual events with a key kind out networking has supposed that the corporate has viewed vast relate over the last year. Tournament organizers and their clients secure been ready to stay linked with their customers despite the constraints on in-individual events. As live events resume in due course, Grip is amazingly effectively-positioned to continue to assist match organizers by the provision of machine solutions supporting live, virtual and hybrid events.”

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Founders Factory and a old investor, said: “Grip was born out of a need we seen in working events at Founders Dialogue board – how attain you exhaust orderly abilities to catalyze essentially the most linked and invaluable connections between your visitors?”

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Tournament networking app Grip raises $13M, as pandemic forces events to stay virtual