Newcastle-based Poptop.fm has secured £100,000 from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, which is managed by Northstar Ventures. An additional £20,000 came from an undisclosed angel investor.
Presenting itself as “an international event concierge service,” the startup offers a range of services including “music entertainment, catering, decoration, photography and event planning,” to name a few.
Poptop plans to use the new capital to strengthen its technological and customer support teams in the UK.
The startup was founded by two Ukrainians — Evgeniy Shestopal and Ignat Thorovsky — in 2013 and is now active in Ukraine and the UK.
“Despite the fact that we have switched our focus to the British market significantly, our Ukrainian team is an essential component of our business,” Poptop’s CEO Evgeniy Shestopal told Ukraine Digital News.
To date, the startup employs six people in Ukraine.
When asked about Poptop’s international competitors, Evgeniy named those who sell leads to artists, and event management agencies.
“What distinguishes us from the first category of our rivals is the higher level of services we deliver. Meanwhile, due to the fact that a significant part of our operations has been automated, we can serve a client faster and more efficiently than an agency,” said Shestopal.
A £39-billion industry
According to the company, its Ukrainian and British websites generate some 200,000 monthly views. The British website accounts for 75% of the audience.
“We have some 6,000 unique monthly clients who plan an event and 4,500 artists in our portfolio,” said Evgeniy Shestopal.
“The UK events industry is estimated to be worth £39 billion, yet there are few options available for individuals who are looking to book suppliers themselves. Poptop provides customers with support and advice, without the prohibitive costs usually associated with an events management service,“ said Richard Charnley, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, as reported by BDAILY.
In 2015, Poptop attracted $30,000 from Torben Majgaard, founder and CEO at Ciklum.
A year earlier, the project received £12,000 for each member of the founding team, free office space in Newcastle, and a spot in the program at the Ignite 100 accelerator..