Event startup Surkus raises $10 million to implement blockchain technology, expand globally
Surkus is an event technology startup that connects people to the brands and events tailored to their interests. Using unique technology, the Surkus platform curates a targeted group of tastemakers for client events – whether that be nightlife, comedy shows, classes, product launches or a digital campaign. In turn, Surkus members are invited to explore and discover these new experiences, with invitations tailored just for them. Surkus reports on engagement and allows communication between clients and members before, during and after the campaign.
The Los Angeles-based Surkus announced today that it has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by EOS Global, a $200 million venture fund formed in earlier this year. The fund is designed to leverage EOSIO blockchain to catalyze the transformation of the digital assets space. Surkus is the fund’s first investment. As blockchain technology becomes increasingly essential for technology platforms to incorporate, the partnership between Surkus and EOS Global was a natural fit from the beginning. EOSIO is a cryptocurrency token and blockchain that operates as a smart contract platform for the deployment of decentralized applications and decentralized autonomous corporation. EOSIO goal is to become a decentralized operating system supporting industrial-scale applications, with claims to eliminate transaction fees and also conduct millions of transactions per second
Of the investment, EOS Global states, “We fully believe in the mission of Surkus and our shared vision of the need for a scalable and global solution in the marketing/advertising space. We are excited for the EOS blockchain to support that growth ahead.”
In addition to the Series B funding, Surkus is also excited to announce the expansion of its platform into Asia. Hong Kong will be the first international city available on the app, which connects people to brands and events in their area.
“At Surkus, our goal is to help our members experience the world around them and to help our clients engage with their target audience,” said Surkus CEO Stephen George. “With this investment, we’ll be able to offer a more diverse array of campaigns and events in more cities around the world, starting with Hong Kong. We’re also looking forward to incorporating blockchain technology into the platform to increase automation and help us scale as we grow.”
Surkus members get rewarded for engaging with different events and campaign, and in turn the platform learns more about their interests and better serves brand clients, who are able to hyper-target members by interests and demographics. As Surkus’ first international market, Hong Kong is expected to add hundreds of thousands of new members to the app’s 500,000+ US member base.
“Hong Kong is a thriving city with over 7 million people. The city is accepting emerging technology more and more, and platforms like Surkus can really move the needle. Hong Kong tastemakers will now have access to exclusive events and campaigns, which will further connect them back to the city they love,” said George. “Hong Kong is a strategic initial market for us as we look to launch Surkus across the region.”
Founded in 2015 by Forest Zukerman and Stephen George, the Surkus platform began as an events-based promotion company primarily servicing the nightlife industry. While clubs and venues can certainly still use Surkus to bring in guests, the platform has expanded its offerings and now includes experiences like comedy shows, brand activations, charity events, acting classes, extra work, movie screenings and more. George, who started his career with Groupon and led operations through the deal site’s IPO in 2011, was an investor in Surkus before becoming CEO in early 2017 with the goal to automate, scale and diversify the platform.
“We know that our members have a variety of interests, so we want the experiences on Surkus to reflect that,” George said. “It’s been exciting to work with so many different brands and businesses as a part of their marketing programs. We envision Surkus as being the go-to platform for brands large and small looking to find a hyper-targeted community. Our members provide meaningful engagement, and as we grow, so does their value to brands.”