Event marketing

RainFocus Raises $ 60 Million to Help Businesses Develop Event Marketing Strategies

As companies continue to develop their event strategies, a platform is raising $ 60 million to ensure they are reaching the right audiences in times of pandemic and post-pandemic.

RainFocus has raised a Series C funding round led by KKR, which invests through the private equity firm’s second next-generation tech growth fund. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but documents filed by RainFocus today with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission report that the round totaled $ 60 million. JMI Equity, which previously invested $ 40 million in RainFocus, also participated in the new round.

Founded in 2013, RainFocus software marketers combine data and content from virtual, in-person, and hybrid events with customer or prospect data. While events are often organized logistically, the startup helps capture and use relevant data which can then be channeled to other parts of the marketing and sales divisions.

“I kinda watch [is as being] for events what marketing automation really was in the early 2000s, ”said JR Sherman, CEO of RainFocus. Forbes. “It went in the direction of creating customer journeys [marketers] could map as they interact with customers, from initial awareness to retention. And the technology of the event went off [paths of] ad hoc solutions or very personalized agency solutions … It’s really a reset and say, “We now have marketing automation technology for events. “

RainFocus plans to use the funding to expand its team of developers while strengthening the integration of marketing technologies to integrate events into campaigns. It also plans to continue to develop its R&D strategy to simplify the means of creating a range of events and tracking their use.

“Traditionally, everyone thought event technology solved a problem,” Sherman said. “One registration, one payment, one exhibitor. What this really allows you to do is view the individual or the account as the center of the universe.

With a slogan of “One platform to rule them all” – a nod to the The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its famous “one ring to rule them all” line —RainFocus has benefited from the booming virtual events business. Since the start of the pandemic, RainFocus has grown in popularity as marketers navigate between hosting virtual, in-person, or hybrid events. In the past year, the company saw 430% event growth while revenue doubled. (The company would not disclose the full amount of revenue.) More than 5.1 million people also used the platform and over 9 million sessions engaged by the public.

According to Sherman, the company was created to “solve what seemed like an impossible problem” of extracting data from a range of vendors, applications, agencies and other partners. He said events “always sit on an island from a technology standpoint – they are always executed by applications and solutions, and then data is thrown over the board” to marketing teams rather than to be integrated into the broader customer journey. This could mean focusing on a physical event and tracking whether people register and attend – or not attend – and how they participated through exhibitors or sessions. It could also mean helping a virtual experience with an online conference that includes one-on-one meetings and wider speeches.

Jimmy Miele, director of KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth team, said the private equity firm started investing in RainFocus in 2019. I didn’t know I needed it and now I realized that I absolutely needed it.

While events were often placed on an event team before 2020, the pandemic has forced marketing managers and CIOs to become more involved in reviewing a platform.

Alicia Tillman, the former SAP marketing director who joined RainFocus ‘board of directors in May, said events are a “very big expense category” for marketing managers’ overall budgets. This requires an integrated strategy to combine participant data with business goals such as new sales and customer retention.

“What sets RainFocus apart is its emphasis on integrating events and all the invaluable data they bring into the overall marketing strategy,” she said. ” It’s gold. No more need to be on an island or to be able to demonstrate only a “one-off benefit” which is often a criticism of the expenses linked to the event. “