HeySummit, the summit platform used by everyone from SaaStr to children’s Face-Painters, announced a new $1 million round in seed funding. The round is led by Techstart ventures, a top tier Scottish-based seed firm, and include Active Capital, a leading firm with expertise in B2B SaaS companies outside of Silicon Valley, and Ankur Nagpal, CEO and founder of Teachable.
HeySummit provides the marketing and management tools that go into running a multi-talk virtual event like landing pages, speaker management and ticketing, and then integrates with the leading webinar, networking, and video hosting platforms. Aside from Zoom they work with tools like Remo, Livewebinar, GoToWebinar, YouTube Live, RunTheWorld, Icebreaker, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and many more.
The recent financing highlights the growth of online event platforms and the impact they make, especially in the times of Covid. HeySummit, an already capital-efficient business that launched before the crisis hit, has seen explosive growth worldwide. Within the past year alone, HeySummit has served nearly 2 million attendees and hosted over 4,500 events on the platform, exceeding other more established names in the space.
“Online summits have been a tool for digital marketers to share knowledge, but it’s always been complicated and cost-prohibitive for most entrepreneurs,” CEO and co-founder Robert Gelb says, “and now, especially with Covid, there’s an even greater need for distributed, remote ways of sharing knowledge that are easy to customize.”
Founder Benjamin Dell started HeySummit as a side-project to solve his own problem as a soloprenuer. “I wanted to reach a wide audience, increase my thought leadership, and build my community, but couldn’t find anything that could do the things that really took the most time – the marketing, organizing, and management of the summit.”
“They’re going about virtual events in a new way. For them, it’s a community that you’re building, and what drew us to HeySummit was not just being able to create beautiful summits, but the focus on what to do after the event finishes. It’s much more holistic and valuable,” says Mark Hogarth, Partner at Techstart. HeySummit’s focus on management and customization of the event experience and integrating with leading webinar and video platforms like Zoom, means that the platform is useful to a large cross-section of customers and use-cases.
The UN, Outreach, The Red Cross, Inman, Udemy, Dynatrace and more have used HeySummit to power events in the past few months, however their main customer segment remains the Passion Economy. “Woodprenuers, face-painters, home-schoolers, even basketball coaches use HeySummit to power their online events and jumpstart their communities,” Gelb says.
“We have to rethink the concept of a global event and figure out how to reach a global audience, and HeySummit made it easy for us to get up and running quickly. Our experience has allowed us to look at how we can reach those new people all over the world. Even in a world where we get the global pandemic under control, virtual is here to stay.” Says Christina Brady, Senior Manager, Event Marketing at Udemy.