Hot off of the demo day stage at Y Combinator, San Francisco-based startup Ribbon Experiences secured a $1.2 million seed round to propel its one-stop shop for live and recorded events to the next level.
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Backed by ONEVC, FundersClub, FJ Labs and angel investors, the company kicked off its platform in June and now has more than 650 hosts, and is selling more than 27,000 tickets per week, co-founder Vojta Drmota told Crunchbase News.
“Our mission is to let anyone run a business by hosting online events,” he said. “We make it simple to create an online business or provide an online presence for an in-person business.”
The platform has a wide variety of hosts from yoga instructors to entrepreneurs to school teachers, all monetizing classes and other instructional sessions through Zoom integration.
The company will use the new funding to create a “business-in-a-box” offering for hosts. It will also further develop features such as its online library, where hosts have the ability to upload, store and charge for recorded content, said co-founder Matteo Carroll in an interview.
A majority of hosts are in the U.S., but Ribbon is steadily gaining a global customer base in countries including Ireland, Australia, China, Singapore and Sweden, he added.
Online events and classes have exploded while the world is staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, we’ve covered a few startups working to bring typical in-person events and activities to the virtual masses. Those include Run The World, Hopin, Wave and Popshop.
In July, Forbes reported that the market for online events will jump to more than $400 billion by 2027, up from $77 billion in 2019. Arthur Brennand, general partner at ONEVC, said the market potential for Ribbon is one of the things that attracted ONEVC to the startup.
“The size of the market is huge,” he said in an interview. “We were looking at podcasts and WhatsApp groups and saw that people were charging for that. It is not only for live events, but people are paying for Ribbon to use it for in-person events, such as cooking lessons, where they had not known how to charge or even create their own website before.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias