Scottish startup HeySummit raises $1 million for virtual events platform


HeySummit, the Scottish startup behind an eponymous platform for virtual events, has raised $1 million in seed funding. The round was led by Belfast-based Techstart Ventures, with participation from Active Capital and Ankur Nagpal, the founder and CEO of Teachable.

HeySummit provides the marketing and management tools that go into running a multi-talk virtual event, things like landing pages, speaker management and ticketing. Hosts can opt for live or pre-recorded programming, or a hybrid of the two.

The app then integrates with leading webinar, networking, and video hosting platforms. Aside from big brand platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, YouTube Live and Microsoft Teams, hosts can use tools like Remo, Livewebinar, GoToWebinar, RunTheWorld and Icebreaker.

The range of integrations mirrors the range of users, from global household names to everyday people broadcasting from their house. The UN, Outreach, the Red Cross, Inman, Udemy, Dynatrace and others have used the platform in the past few months, but the startup’s main customer segment remains the ‘passion economy’ — solo founders, artisans, entrepreneurial hobbyists, influencers, etc.

“Woodprenuers, face-painters, home-schoolers, even basketball coaches use HeySummit to power their online events and jumpstart their communities,” says CEO and co-founder Robert Gelb. “Now, especially with Covid, there’s an even greater need for distributed, remote ways of sharing knowledge that are easy to customize.”

Within the past year, HeySummit has hosted over 4,500 events on the platform, welcoming nearly 2 million attendees. Gelb says their customers earned over $6 million in revenue so far this year.

“They’re going about virtual events in a new way,” says Mark Hogarth, Partner at Techstart. “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.”

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