London-based experience commerce platform Easol has raised $25 million in a Series A funding round. Tapping into the zeitgeist of experience-based travel, Easol provides a one-stop-shop for independent creators that are building businesses based on their passions. The funding will be used to further develop the company’s offerings to entrepreneurs, as well as grow the teams in its London, Lisbon, and US offices. Following a seed round of $4.5 million in March of this year, the startup has now raised $29.5 million in total.
Founded in 2017 by Lisa and Ben Simpson, also founders of one of Europe’s largest snowsports and music festivals, Rise, as well as off-the-beaten-path travel experiences company Beyond Adventures, Easol was born from the couples' challenges and frustrations with what was then available to them on the marketplace.
“We were faced with hacking together so many third-party tools whilst trying to successfully operate and grow our business and so we designed Easol as the dream all-in-one platform we would have wanted for our own experience business,” explains CEO Ben Simpson.
For lack of stating the obvious, the past two years have been a bit of a tricky one for Easol, but also a blessing in disguise. With an estimated $1 trillion on the experience-and-travel table, if all goes well in 2022, and our abilities to stand less than 2 metres apart are restored, this author is just going to call it right now and say that Easol is sitting in a very good place.
And I’m not alone in my thinking, as the startup reports a 10x increase in the number of creators it works with since March of this year, a customer base that’s grown by 913%, transaction numbers up by a factor of 50x, and a total spend across the platform by over 30x. Healthy numbers any way you look at it.
“It’s been a tough two years, however, very inspiring to watch our incredible team pull together in extreme circumstances to support our creators through the hardest time of their businesses to come out of this stronger than ever,” added Ben.
Easol’s $25 million Series A round was led by Tiger Global and saw participation from existing investors Notion Capital, Foundation Capital, Y Combinator, and FMZ Ventures led by Michael Zeisser, the former Chairman of US investments at Alibaba.
On the investment, Tiger Global’s Evan Feinberg commented, “Easol’s market-leading platform and industry expertise allows clients to imagine and market unique experiences for consumers. In the rapidly expanding experience commerce market, we believe Easol is poised to capture outsized growth, and we are excited to partner with Ben, Lisa and the Easol team.”