Poptop UK secures £440k Seed Follow On investment from DSW Ventures and NorthStar Ventures

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Poptop to begin global roll-out after raising further £440k

Poptop – the Newcastle-based events booking platform – has raised a further £440,000 to pursue its global expansion plans. The funding comes from existing investors DSW Ventures and NorthStar Ventures, which was investing from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Poptop’s platform was the first private events marketplace of its type and has revolutionised the way consumers plan and book events from birthdays to grand weddings. With live events suspended during the pandemic, the company has expanded its range to offer virtual events and food deliveries. It has also launched a new and improved platform offering live pricing, availability and real-time booking across a wide range of services from musicians, comedians and entertainers to vegan catering.

Poptop now represents over 14,000 suppliers to the private-events industry and is on course to deliver over £10m in bookings in 2021. The company is planning a Series A funding round later in the year.

Poptop was founded by Eugene Shestopal and Ignat Thorovsky. DSW Ventures and NorthStar backed them two years ago to allow them to develop their platform and they have since been joined by the former Co-op Bank CEO Rod Bulmer as chair and experienced finance director Anita Clementson.

Eugene Shestopal commented:

“We are confident that in 2021 the market for private events will bounce back strongly and Poptop will play an important role in the redevelopment of the industry. The technology we’ve built allows us to significantly improve the customer’s experience of planning an event and increase conversions and bookings for our suppliers.

“The new funding will allow us to further enhance the platform and start to expand internationally and into new sectors. 2020 was a tough year for the events industry but our platform is going to be a massive help for entertainers, caterers, and for the whole industry to get back to business.”

David Smith, co-founder of DSW Ventures, said:

“The Poptop team have performed wonders. Their business exists to deliver fun and stress-free social gatherings. Despite their core market being on ice for nearly a year, they have evolved their product, found new revenue streams, and delivered a world-first real-time booking platform for the private-events marketplace. 2021 will be a transformative year for Poptop.”

DSW Ventures invests up to £1 million as part of scale-up funding rounds of up to £2 million.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About PopTop

Poptop is an onlive events marketplace, that helps planners of private events to quickly and easily book events services across all the key categories. Poptop is the World’s first events marketplace offering live pricing and availability and real-time booking. It represents more than 14,000 event suppliers.

About DSW Ventures

DSW Ventures made its first investment in 2018 and is an investor in early-stage scale-up businesses requiring venture funding of more than £250,000, primarily on an EIS basis. It is funded by a growing network of high-net-worth angel investors. DSW Ventures is the trading style of DSW Angels LLP, which is part of the Dow Schofield Watts Group.

DSW Ventures is a partner in British Business Investments’ £100m Regional Angels Programme, designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK. British Business Investments is a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank.

Dow Schofield Watts is a UK independent advisory and investment group, headquartered in Warrington, Cheshire and with offices in Manchester, Leeds, Aberdeen and London.

Northstar Ventures is a venture capital and social investment firm based in the North East. We provide funding for innovative, scalable businesses and high impact social enterprises. We’ve been supporting entrepreneurs since 2004, seeking out strong teams with great ideas that will drive high growth, scalable businesses, and sustainable charities.As the North East’s leading early stage investor, we have invested over £100m into start-ups, early stage businesses and high impact social enterprises in the region. Our investment managers have a wealth of experience supporting new and growing businesses and bring commercial and operational experience, PhDs and MBAs, international careers and even a micro-business or two.

About The North East Fund

The North East Fund is a suite five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023.  The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead Sunderland and County Durham.  The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs.  The North East Fund has overall responsibility for the programme, which is delivered through five separate funds, each managed by independent, FCA regulated fund managers.  Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the programme, is available on The North East Fund’s website: www.northeastfund.org

The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds.  It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities

About the European Regional Development Fund

The North East Fund will receive up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.  Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to £60,000,000 to the North East Fund programme.  The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.  For more information, visit: http://www.eib.org/about/index.htm

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Safiya Marzook

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