South African event ticketing and cashless platforms Howler has secured its second round of growth capital investment from three partner companies Techstars, Platform Investment Partners Growth (Platform Growth) and Platform45.
Howler is already on a significant growth trajectory and is fast solidifying its lead in the market – it enjoyed its busiest event season ever this past December servicing over 400 events.
The Series B round has been raised in order to further develop Howler’s end-to-end event technology stack, grow market share in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to expand into Europe and APAC.
“Being our second round of investment, this is really significant for Howler for many reasons,” says Shai Evian, co-founder and CEO of Howler.
“In 2017 we were licensing our tech and had a team of about 25 people in the company. Back then, Techstars really helped us shape a vision and put us on a different trajectory. With Platform Growth’s first investment round and Platform45 as a development partner, we are two and a half years down the line, 70 people strong and have managed to develop and own 100% of our entire platform,” Evans adds.
Ticketing and cashless technology for medium to large scale events is growing rapidly as the benefits become more evident: smoother, more secure online ticket purchasing, the elimination of long queues, reduction in theft and fraud, network independent robust analytics and a better experience for guests overall.
If you’ve been to a music, sporting or lifestyle event recently, it’s likely you’ve experienced the company’s next-generation technology, either through a seamless ticket purchasing process or their onsite cashless system – or both.
To date Howler has processed over R1,5-billion worth of transactions and millions of tickets across thousands of events. It is Howler’s savvy business model and future-focused technology that has attracted Techstars, Platform Growth and Platform45 to the company – and why they’re investing in its future.
Investment from these three companies brings value to Howler from multiple avenues, including software development, funding and access to a global network of likeminded entrepreneurs.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed through a global network of over 6,000 mentors, 50 accelerator programs and over 1 900 portfolio companies.
Howler is the first South African tech company that Techstars has provided follow on investment for.
“We’ve been extremely impressed with the progress that the Howler team has made and growth in the company since completing the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars in 2017,” says Yossi Hasson, Techstars’ MD. “As the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, we’re excited to support them in continuing on that journey.
“Our support gives Howler access to this global network to help amplify global reach for expansion, ability to attract capital and find exceptional talent.”
Platform45 is a software company that specialises product design, mobile and web development, and have been working alongside Howler’s product team for many years.
Shaun Richards, MD of Platform45, comments: “Our vision has always been to build software that helps businesses and people do more through the power of tech. When we started working with the team behind Howler we immediately knew that this wasn’t just any idea, this was an idea that could change eventing around the world.
“With our investment in Howler, the commercial team at Howler can focus on growing their footprint globally without any concerns over the software scaling seamlessly, Platform45, can focus on what we do best – supporting Howlers platform team in building cutting-edge features that make Howler one-of-a-kind,” he adds.
“Platform Growth’s core mandate is to invest in uniquely competitive technology and highly competent management teams, and Howler has demonstrated both of these attributes during our partnership, says the company’s Michael Stannard.
“Howler’s platform fills a unique space in the industry that offers a seamless, proven and scalable solution for event organisers, attendees and vendors. The platform combines a deep understanding of the event organisers’ requirements, with an exceptional team of software developers.”
Evan adds: “We are doubling down on our technology to create a more seamless and connected event experience for all our stakeholders, event organisers and event goers. I don’t believe there is another South African company investing this much into the space like we are. Our confidence is at an all-time high.”