Nearing 2 million attendees worldwide, Virtual Event Platform HeySummit raises $1m
HeySummit, a virtual events platform used by everyone from face-painters to SaaStr to run virtual Summits, conferences, talk-series, and build communities, has raised $1m in seed funding.
The round, led by Scottish-based Techstart, Austin-based Active Capital, and Ankur Nagpal, CEO of Teachable follows HeySummit’s rapid increase in use during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Rob and his team think about events differently. For them, it’s a community that you’re building, and what drew me to HeySummit was not just being able to create beautiful summits, but the focus on what to do after your event finishes. It’s much more long-term in creating a value proposition” Ankur Nagpal/Mark/Pat/ etc
Unlike other events platforms, HeySummit is adopting the Shopify approach, where integrations are key to creating unique experiences, rather than focusing on video themselves.
“We see video as a valuable layer, but one that can be used in a number of different ways. Instead of locking a customer into one dynamic or system, with HeySummit you can mix and match platforms. Your 9am keynote could be using Zoom, your 10am networking session could be on Remo, and your 11am masterclass could be pulled from a pre-recorded video. All with a consistent UX for your attendees and speakers, and managed simply.” CEO Robert Gelb explains.
HeySummit provides the marketing and management elements that go into running a multi-talk virtual event like landing pages, speaker management and ticketing, and then integrates with the leading webinar, networking, and video hosting platforms. Currently they integrate fully with Zoom, Remo, Livewebinar, GoToWebinar, YouTube Live, and work with new tools like RunTheWorld, Icebreaker, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and more.
“We’re not trying to compete with Zoom. We’re working with Zoom, Remo, and any other video platform we can to create beautiful experiences that appeal to a wide range in customers.” Gelb says.
HeySummit has been used by several big names to pivot conferences online including Inman, Outreach, the UN, The Red Cross, Udemy, Dynatrace and more, however their main customer comes from somewhere very different.
“The vast majority of our customers could be labelled as members of the Passion Economy,” Gelb says, “Woodprenuers, face-painters, home-schoolers, even Witches use HeySummit to power their online events and jumpstart their communities.”
Popular with soloprenuers, marketers, and agencies, HeySummit’s flexibility has been a popular reason for their success.
“On one hand, you can get started very quickly and cheaply and use the webinar platforms you’re used to. On the other hand, you can customize your event pretty extensively, so can create an experience that’s unique to your brand. That balance helps us provide something that’s easy to use, but also inherently flexible.”
Gelb says that HeySummit’s approach also has impact at its core. “One of our core values is amplifying others sustainably. To us that means being an active ally in supporting change in the world. From leading the way in low-bandwidth summits, to becoming carbon negative to setting up a fund to help Black entrepreneurs pivot to the digital economy, impact drives everything we do.”