Poptop – the Newcastle-based events booking platform – has raised a further £440,000 to pursue its global expansion plans. The funding comes from existing investors DSW Ventures and NorthStar Ventures, which was investing from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Poptop’s platform was the first private events marketplace of its type and has revolutionised the way consumers plan and book events from birthdays to grand weddings. With live events suspended during the pandemic, the company has expanded its range to offer virtual events and food deliveries. It has also launched a new and improved platform offering live pricing, availability and real-time booking across a wide range of services from musicians, comedians and entertainers to vegan catering.
Poptop now represents over 14,000 suppliers to the private-events industry and its platform is on course to deliver over £10m in bookings in 2021. The company is planning a Series A funding round later in the year.
Poptop was founded by Eugene Shestopal and Ignat Thorovsky. DSW Ventures and NorthStar backed them two years ago to allow them to develop their platform and they have since been joined by the former Co-op Bank CEO Rod Bulmer as chair and experienced finance director Anita Clementson.
Eugene Shestopal commented: “We are confident that in 2021 the market for private events will bounce back strongly and Poptop will play an important role in the redevelopment of the industry. The technology we’ve built allows us to significantly improve the customer’s experience of planning an event and increase conversions and bookings for our suppliers.
“The new funding will allow us to further enhance the platform and start to expand internationally and into new sectors. 2020 was a tough year for the events industry but our platform is going to be a massive help for entertainers, caterers, and for the whole industry to get back to business.”
David Smith, co-founder of DSW Ventures, said: “The Poptop team have performed wonders. Their business exists to deliver fun and stress-free social gatherings. Despite their core market being on ice for nearly a year, they have evolved their product, found new revenue streams, and delivered a world-first real-time booking platform for the private-events marketplace. 2021 will be a transformative year for Poptop.”
DSW Ventures invests up to £1 million as part of scale-up funding rounds of up to £2 million.