Company Looks to Digitize $565 Billion Events and Conferences Industry
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. ─ August 12, 2015) Mobile event technology and event performance company DoubleDutch today announced a $45 million round of growth financing led by KKR, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures, and others. The company cites global expansion, sales and marketing, and targeted acquisitions as the primary use of proceeds.
“We are thrilled to team up with KKR to tackle this next stage of growth,” said DoubleDutch CEO Lawrence Coburn. “The $565 billion spent annually on events and conferences – the biggest marketing spend in the world – is running blind. We believe that DoubleDutch can help.”
DoubleDutch serves corporate events, associations, and trade shows, providing a best-in-class mobile application for attendees on the front end, and near real-time event performance analytics for event organizers on the back end, complete with sentiment analysis and engagement benchmarks.
“It’s an exciting time to be in software,” said DoubleDutch CTO Nicholas Clark. “For the first time, we have the ability to instrument the physical world like we would a website, a phenomenon that has the potential to completely reinvent how events and conferences are run, managed, and measured. Marketers no longer need to run blind when it comes to events.”
DoubleDutch has more than 1,000 customers and now employs more than 260 people around the world in San Francisco, Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, and Portland.
“We are growing well north of 100 percent year over year, and see no signs of things slowing down,” said Pankaj Prasad, DoubleDutch’s Co-Founder and Global Head of Sales. “ Our product is being adopted all over the world by events of all sizes, and in any industry, in order to measure their success.”
To date, the company has sold primarily to event organizers and planners, but has plans to help deliver more ROI to the event industry’s sponsors and exhibitors, in the process, unlocking new revenue streams for organizers.
Events sit at the intersection of three key stakeholders: attendees, exhibitors, and organizers, and have all the elements of a classic, multi-sided market. The software opportunity for the category is broader than just digitizing the event program. By leveraging its command of the data coming from the show floor, DoubleDutch provides an opportunity for attendees to enjoy a personalized and curated experience, organizers to benchmark and optimize event performance, and exhibitors to ensure they do not leave leads on the table.
DoubleDutch offers a SaaS-like pricing model in which customers gain year-round access to mobile apps and event analytics, giving them the ability to run, manage, and evaluate all of the events within their portfolio.
“DoubleDutch is designing for the next stage of social as well as data to drive smarter decision making for marketers,” said Annie Tsai, Chief Customer Officer at DoubleDutch. “The future of event tech is marketing driven innovation, not logistics, and I think our customers appreciate this.”
“As more and more companies look for reliable data to measure the success of their marketing programs, Double Dutch provides the perfect platform to inform their strategy and decisions,” said Ted Oberwager of KKR. “We look forward to working with team to help grow the business.”
For KKR, the investment is part of the firm’s growth equity strategy, which is focused on market-leading, high-growth companies for which KKR can be a unique partner in helping reach scale and the next level of growth. KKR is funding the investment from the balance sheet of KKR & Co. LP (NYSE:KKR).
DoubleDutch provides mobile applications and performance analytics for events, conferences, and trade shows for more than 1,000 customers including SAP, UBM, and Urban Land Institute. Founded in 2011, DoubleDutch was recently named to Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies, AlwaysOn’s Global 250 best-of-breed private companies in SaaS and Enterprise, and Forbes’ list of 10 hot companies to work for in San Francisco. DoubleDutch is based in the Mission District of San Francisco with regional offices in Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, and Portland.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners’ capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com.
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