(Updated with comment from DoubleDutch)
For nearly our entire existence as a company, Vator has been more than a website; we have also held a number of startup competitions, conferences and events, our most recent one being our inaugural two-day Vator Splash Oakland in May. (And wouldn't you know it, we've got another event coming up in LA in just a few weeks! You can get your tickets here!)
As anyone who has been to event like that can tell you, with so much going on at once, being able to find where everything is, at the right time, can be extremely difficult. And from the event organizer perspective, there's no way to really know how things are going in real time, so that they can be improved. There’s a sometimes a connection between the two that is missing.
Enterprise mobile app provider DoubleDutch looks to bridge that gap, and to fix both sides of that equation simultaneously. Now it has raised $19 million in a new funding round, it was revealed on Thursday.
The funding was led by Mithril Capital Management, with previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures and Bullpen Capital also participating, along with Singapore-based Enspire Capital.
DoubleDutch had previously raised around $19 million, from investors that included Floodgate and Lightbank. This new round brings its total raised to a total of $37.5 million.
The San Francisco-based DoubleDutch provides tools for conferences and events, including a customizable app that houses all of the event content, including session information and speaker bios; an app for facilitating networking; and personalized agendas. For the event coordinators it provides in-app sponsorship opportunities and embedded surveys and polls so that attendees can provide feedback as the event is still going on.
"Events are an enormous part of CMO budgets, but they lack the same data-driven analytics and instant control that other areas of marketing have. Marketers can get instant insight into the effectiveness of their AdWords campaigns, for example, and can adjust their keywords in response to that information on a minute-by-minute basis. Events, on the other hand, are almost completely disconnected from the remainder of marketing activities, as most of the activity happens offline," Jennifer Hawkins, Director of Marketing at DoubleDutch, told me.
The DoubleDutch apps are meant to provides a link between social engagement and actionable data for event organizers to analyze and improve their events in real time. And with more than $500 billion dollars spent every year organizing and hosting events, the company aims to solve this problem by building a comprehensive solution that satisfies all stakeholders, from CMO to attendee.
"With DoubleDutch’s mobile engagement application and robust mission control center for event organizers, DoubleDutch creates a lively digital forum to supplement the interactions happening on the show floor," Hawkins said. "Crucially, by collecting the implicit and explicit signals of interest generated through app usage, DoubleDutch can provide organizers with unprecedented insight into what aspects of their event are working well what areas need improvement. A DoubleDutch app gives organizers the recommendations they need to optimize the event in real-time."
The company says it will use the new funding to grow internationally, and to build out its tech teams, with the ultimate goal of scaling the product and delivering new features.
The company is headquartered are in San Francisco, with offices in Amsterdam, London, and Hong Kong to serve EMEA and Asia.
"This new funding will help us expand our reach in those regions, particularly in Asia where local expertise is a top priority," Hawkins told me. "To date, we have powered over 2,000 apps in over 50 countries, and will continue our company expansion into new regions."
As for the new hires, DoubleDutch currently has146 employees. While she wouldn't say how many people the company is planning to hire, Hawkin would say, "but we are hiring fast."
While, there are other mobile event app providers, including CrowdCompass, which offer similar-looking user experiences for event attendees, DoubleDutch says it is unique in its approach to event data, both in terms of collecting that data and delivering it to event organizers in an actionable format.
The company combines social apps with data analytics, which is something that no one else is doing. While its competitors "come from a traditional events background," DoubleDutch is instead full of "technology people looking to disrupt an industry that desperately needs innovation."
"We’re trying to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds by bringing our technology to a space that has long operated on paper. We’re also the only mobile event app vendor with a truly social approach - the native social infrastructure makes our app feel more like an internal social network than a digital event guide," said Hawkins.
"Furthermore, we are the only event technology that brings to the industry a comprehensive focus on data and optimization – pairing what attendees are interested in with sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, sessions, and the like. The result is an interest graph that helps unlock insight, illuminate return on investment, and optimize the overall event experience."
Since being founded in 2011, the DoubleDutch app has been used by more than 2,000 events globally, with clients that have included Georgetown University, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, FLIRT Communications, SAP, InContact and the Washington Examiner.
DoubleDutch has over 600 customers and the company has grown over 40% every quarter since it’s inception.
In addition to the funding news, it was also announced that Ajay Royan, co-founder and managing general partner of Mithril, will be join the board of directors at DoubleDutch.
"While legacy event companies focus on registration or logistics, DoubleDutch's platform uniquely preserves relationships that foster powerful, sustainable, long-term advantages," Ryan said in a statement. "They are already working with some of the largest event organizers around the world, and this new investment will allow DoubleDutch to focus on identifying and pursuing enormous new opportunities."
He will be joining fellow board members Byron Deeter, of Bessemer Venture Partners; Mike Maples Jr., of loodgate Fund; Duncan Davidson, of Bullpen Capital; and Dominique Vidal, of Index Ventures.
(Image source: doubledutch.me)