Banzai raises $15 million in venture debt funding to grow its SaaS event marketing platform
About a year ago today, we wrote about Banzai after the Seattle-based SaaS startup Banzai scored a $7M Series A funding to simplify event marketing. Fast forward a year later, Banzai has closed a $15 million in venture debt funding to expand further to service the company’s ever-growing roster of customers.
The funding was led by Columbia Pacific Advisors. With many people now working from home, Banzai marketer’s tool helps businesses to increase attendance while simplifying virtual, hybrid, and in-person event experiences.
Banzai was founded in 2015 by Alexey Melnichenko, Andy Linteau, and Joe Davy to help marketers have more successful webinars and events by growing their audience and creating more engaging experiences. Banzai’s tool is used by over 100 companies including Adobe, Dell Technologies, and Nextiva, along with over 3,000 other customers.
Since its launch in 2017, Banzai has quickly become the go-to solution for Event Marketing Automation. More than 200 leading companies such as Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle use Banzai to streamline their registration process and to drive attendance for regional and field marketing events.
In the past six months, Banzai has expanded its virtual event and webinar solutions through two critical acquisitions, including virtual event platform High Attendance and browser-based webinar solution Demio. The new funding aligns with Banzai’s near-term plan to reach profitability while maintaining a triple-digit growth rate.
“Going forward, companies will win or lose based on their ability to educate and engage with their buyers. This allows Banzai to accelerate growth and provide solutions that enable results-driven marketers to adapt and thrive in the changing world of event marketing,” said Joe Davy, CEO of Banzai. “The team at Columbia Pacific shares our values of strategic growth and building an enduring company. We’re excited to have them as partners.”
“Joe and his first-rate team at Banzai have impressed us with their innovation, growth, and leadership, especially over the past year,” said Trent Stedman of Columbia Pacific. “Banzai’s solutions deliver remarkable ROI for event marketers. We look forward to helping Banzai achieve its vision as it provides simple, powerful SaaS tools to decision-makers in the multi-hundred billion dollar event marketing industry.”
As part of this transaction, Banzai is excited to welcome Gaingels, a leading venture syndicate focused on supporting companies in building cultures of diversity and inclusion. Through this important partnership, Banzai looks forward to deepening its commitment to supporting social change.
“Gaingels’s core mission to build a more accessible and equitable venture ecosystem is centered around creating community,” said Lorenzo Thione, managing partner at Gaingels. “We are proud to be participating in Banzai’s financing, whose event marketing solutions are helping communities and events be closer and cross physical and digital boundaries, and we are resolved on helping Banzai grow and scale while building a culture that reflects the diversity of its executive teams, staff, and customers.”