17 June 2021

Connected Capital leads investment in Brella

Brella closes $10M Series A for networking focused event platform after record 2020 growth

The networking-focused hybrid event platform Brella successfully closed a $10M Series A funding round. The company currently serves some of the largest presences in the event industry, including Informa, Marcus Evans, Questex and IQPC.

As live events were shut down across the world, Brella leapt into action and transformed their market-leading event app & networking platform for live events into a complete virtual event platform within the space of a month. Leveraging 15+ years of industry experience and strong partnerships forged with leading players in the market, they have since hosted 1,000s of successful events and dozens of hybrid events.

 

Markus Kauppinen, CEO and Founder of Brella explained that despite the company’s remarkable growth during 2020, they opted to take on additional funding in order to lead the charge toward immersive hybrid events that contain both live and virtual components — a unique challenge for an industry where virtual audiences were relatively uncommon prior to 2020.

Turning to the factors behind Brella’s success, Kauppinen pointed to his team, saying,  “It’s all about the entire company sharing a common sense of purpose — each and every one of our absolutely fantastic team of Brellaneers care so deeply about our product and community. I have personally seen everyone here go above and beyond on multiple occasions to help shoot us straight to the moon. I couldn’t have asked for anything more as a founder, or a CEO.”

Markus added, “Another secret ingredient is our intelligent networking chops, combined with our unique product philosophy. Unlike many of our competitors, Brella is squarely focused on capturing the essence of live business events and translating them into an intuitive digital format. We aren’t in the business of impressing event organizers with needlessly long feature-lists: Instead, we provide them with a lean, beautifully designed platform that supercharges the attendee experience using fantastic UX and AI-smart networking.”

Brella is seeking to use their latest funding round to set the new gold standard for hybrid business events by:

  • Investing in R&D for essential features to unite hybrid audiences, including 365 community building, improved attendee grouping, unified analytics for virtual and live audiences.
  • Scaling our battle-tested architecture to further improve our industry-leading reliability and platform uptime (currently 99.95%).
  • Lowering the bar for organizers who want to host hybrid events through our unique end-to-end customer success offerings and comprehensive content

Mathijs Robbens, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Connected Capital, who led the investment round, added, “Brella’s approach to tackling the problems surrounding the event experience has been a breath of fresh air, especially during these uncertain times. The growth of the company, their agility and ability to turn the most insurmountable challenges into new opportunities is truly exceptional — we are thrilled to be a part of their next act as they strive to help the event industry embrace technology in the long-term.”
Sakari Pihlava, General Partner at Vendep Capital said, “I am highly impressed with Brella’s team. They exceeded all our expectations this past year in the midst of the pandemic. With this funding Brella is now positioned to become the category leader for hybrid events. We are excited to be supporting this journey.”