The Vendry raises $6.5m seed round to support corporate events industry with new marketplace solutions
The Vendry, a marketplace and professional community for corporate event planners, announced the close of a $6.5 million seed funding round led by Peter Boyce, Founder of Stellation Capital.
With the new funding, The Vendry is working to empower corporate event professionals as they navigate the return to live events. Founder Collective, Primary Ventures, WGI Group, Leadout Capital, Operator Partners, Brilliant Friends, Howard Lerman, Brian Distelburger, Jason Harinstein, Geoff Yang, and Ed Zimmerman were among those who participated in the raise. The Vendry will use the funds to scale its product, expand into new markets, and grow its team.
While the corporate events industry is massive in size, and valued at over $211 billion in the US alone in 2019, it is still severely technologically underserved. Over the next decade, the industry is anticipated to grow another 18.5% to $322 billion, fueled by the strong desire from Millennial and Gen-Z audiences for live events and experiences. The Vendry has created an online marketplace to connect event planning professionals with the venues and vendors they need to produce successful events. The platform digitizes the traditionally manual process of requesting, collecting, and comparing proposals from venues and vendors. Plus, event professionals can connect with each other through The Vendry's community platform to seek inspiration, exchange resources, and share industry job opportunities.
Peter Boyce, Founder, Stellation Capital: "Daphne and The Vendry team have been scaling and progressing forward through one of the most challenging periods we've seen for the world of events & hosting. Their ambition and resilience is magnetic, and as one of Stellation Capital's very first investments, we couldn't be more proud to be supporting their platform that enables the magic of connecting teams and customers through events."
Despite the cancelation of most in-person events due to the pandemic, The Vendry's community of users tripled since March of 2020 to over 18,000 event professionals. As event industry professionals shifted to virtual experiences to try and continue to engage with their audiences, The Vendry pivoted to be a crucial source of shared knowledge, ideas and resources to make the transition as seamless as possible.
This funding will allow the company to double the size of its product and engineering teams in order to invest in new platform developments for a new era of events, connecting planners and suppliers in their growing community with unprecedented speed and ease.
Daphne Hoppenot, CEO and Founder, The Vendry: "The pandemic has only reinforced the fact that the live events market is ripe for, and in need of, innovation. At the onset, our team was blown away by how event pros in our community came together to collaborate on how they were shifting their events process, whether to virtual or to take place on a smaller scale in-person. The combination of knowledge sharing and tactical partnerships between planners and suppliers is critical to this industry's comeback, and that's what we're so excited to continue to build upon and serve through this funding."
The Vendry launched its suite of marketplace tools in January of 2021, and since then has seen over $10 million worth of RFP's published by planners in the community, seeking everything from virtual production partners to venues for live events. Most recently, the company announced the launch of Circles, which are curated networking groups for the top event professionals across the industry, as well as new features in their RFP tool that allow planners to source suppliers that have fully vaccinated staff. Throughout the remainder of this year, The Vendry will continue to roll out new features that support the needs of event professionals as they prepare to meet the pent up demand for live events expected to be unleashed in 2022