Bevy raises $40 million for virtual conferences and community events in deal backed by 25 Black investors
Bevy, a Silicon Valley-based tech startup and provider of enterprise software for virtual conferences and community events, today announced it has raised a $40 million in Series C funding round from Accel, LinkedIn, Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith, Upfront Ventures, and more than 25 top Black leaders.
Breaking the diversity barriers, Bevy said that 70% of individuals participating in the funding round – representing 20% of the total funds raised – are Black investors, including nationally recognized Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) pioneer James Lowry; current Facebook board member and EVP at PayPal, Peggy Alford; and former Beats by Dre CMO Omar Johnson, alongside many more renowned Black leaders. Bevy will use the new capital infusion to grow its team from 100 employees to 250 in 2021. With a completely remote workforce, Bevy’s team is located in 10 different countries on 4 continents.
In a blog post, Bevy CEO Derek Andersen said, “Ten years ago, I left the corporate world to embark on a journey as an entrepreneur. After a few failed attempts, my co-founder Joel Fernandes and I built Startup Grind into the world’s largest community for entrepreneurs. We learned a lot along the way and ultimately with my other co-founder Alex Bendig’s help we built what is now Bevy.”
Founded in 2017 by Derek Andersen, Joel Fernandes, and Alex Bendig, Bevy was built from the ground up by the team behind Startup Grind to help companies build, grow, and scale their global customer communities. With chapters in more than 500 cities and 125 countries worldwide, Startup Grind is the most connected community of startups and entrepreneurs in the world; it remains one of Bevy’s many customers and its largest stakeholder.
Bevy said it’s committed to radically reducing the racial inequality that exists in the tech industry and has committed to having Black employees represent 20% of its workforce by September 2021, up from 14% today and 0% last February.
Following the killing of George Floyd, a drive to improve the racial inequities in the tech sector has been a huge focus in Silicon Valley. “With most tech companies reporting low single-digit percentages of their workforce being Black and the racial wealth gap only widening, Bevy is taking action by holding themselves accountable towards dramatically increasing diversity of its workforce and cap table,” says Kobie Fuller, General Partner at Upfront and Founder/Chairman of Valence.
“This is not only the right thing to do but will also create the most valuable business long term as we build a company that better reflects the communities that we all live in,” says Derek Andersen, CEO and co-founder of Bevy.
“To see such rapid growth in employee diversity and to prioritize Black ownership in tech companies in this manner is unprecedented,” says visionary management consultant and entrepreneur, James Lowry, “We are creating the blueprint for everyone to follow as we look to create Black wealth and a better tomorrow.”
Bevy’s $325M valuation is a 4x increase from a year ago when it raised a Series B round of funding, also led by Accel. Bevy has raised $60M to date since the company was founded in 2017. Customers pay between $20K and $1M annually to license Bevy to scale their communities and host virtual conferences. As hybrid events and eventually, in-person events begin to emerge post-pandemic, Bevy is the gold standard, enabling enterprise brands to not only host large virtual conferences and events but to also scale their global community events through a network of smaller, high frequency, globally-connected events. As a result, the company is poised to win the enterprise portion of the market and is on track to reach $30M in ARR by the end of 2021, a 15x increase from 2019.
Today, Bevy powers enterprise event communities for brands such as Google, Snowflake, Facebook, HubSpot, Adobe, Salesforce, Slack, Twitch, Atlassian, Zendesk, Twilio, and others. In 2020, Bevy served as strategic advisors to 125 new and existing enterprise brands as they shifted from in-person communities to virtual and hybrid events. The collaborative approach enabled 30,000 corporate event planners and enterprise community leaders across Bevy’s ecosystem to host more than 100,000 events across 120 countries, empowering them to hit their key business growth metrics.
“In 2020 we saw an explosion of enterprise brands wanting to build communities while hosting events for customers and employees,” says Andersen. “Bevy helps brands create authentic 365-day relationships with customers through events.”
With Bevy’s unique virtual events platform, companies can reach customers globally at scale. Bevy’s community IP, technology, and methodology allow companies to build external and internal conferences, meetups, field marketing, and user group events all from one platform.