SXSW takes stake in Eventbase mobile mapping startup

Nov 18, 2014
Austin Business Journal

South By Southwest Inc. has bought a $2 million stake in Eventbase, a Vancouver-based mobile app that allows smartphone users to find each other easily at conferences and other events. The app uses iBeacon technology to create secure, on-the-fly networks

Austin-based SXSW is the only outside investor in the Canadian company, which has 50 employees and was a winner at the U.K. TechEvent Awards last week. Scott Wilcox, SXSW's director of technology, will join the Eventbase board of directors and act as an adviser

It's the first deal handled through the festival's new investment arm, SXSW Tech LLC. SXSW officials said they aren't actively looking for more investment deals but are open to attractive possibilities

Eventbase has handled location and map management for high-profile events such as the Olympic Games, several Comic-Con festivals, Cannes Lions, the Sundance Film Festival, ESPN, Disney and Lollapalooza. Its revenue was on pace for $4 million this year and is expected to double next year

"The event technology industry is rapidly transitioning to mobile, and Eventbase is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this trend," SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson told T-Net. "Eventbase has a proven track record of successfully introducing new technologies to the event industry, like iBeacon at SXSW earlier this year."

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