Venue booking platform VenueScanner raises £800,000 of seed funding

Backed by a number of high profile investors, VenueScanner will look to expand into one new major UK city every month and improve user experience

VenueScanner, an online platform that allows users to find and book out universities, museums, school halls, pubs, community buildings and hotels, has raised £800,000 of seed funding.

The start-up is backed by a number of investors across a range of sectors, including Angel CoFund (funded by British Business Bank), founder of New Look Tom Singh and Phil Burks, the of founder of Big Yellow Storage.

“On a mission to re-write the event-organising rulebook”, VenueScanner aims to apply “the lowest commission fees per booking on the market” by employing only a small team in order to pass on the savings to its users.

Free for venue owners to use, the site offers real time data to help drive bookings and maximize revenue for those on-site.

The seed funding will be used to develop the site’s design and user experience as well as trialling new, innovative features with its ‘PA Members Club’ – a select group of its personal and executive assistant customers whom help shape the company roadmap.

The investment will also be used to further support its nationwide roll out as it expands into one new major UK city each month.

Co-founded by Benjy Meyer and Rebecca Kelly in 2015 and launched in June 2016, the duo have over 18 years’ experience in the e-commerce and digital marketing sector – and had their light bulb moment after they become increasingly frustrated trying to book office Christmas parties, team away days and workshops.

Claiming they found the majority of the UK’s most unique venues were “hidden and barely discoverable, let alone bookable online”, the pair set out to creating a self-serve platform that could enable direct interaction between event organisers and hosts.

With 10,000 venues currently live and ready to be booked, VenueScanner says its platform has “more venues than any other site in the UK” and has received enquiries from the likes of Facebook, Sainsbury’s, Uber and Airbnb – and is “trusted” by Nike, BBC and Deloitte.

Rebecca Kelly, co-founder of VenueScanner and former head of digital growth at Majestic/Naked Wines said:

“Digital marketing in the venue and events industry is still in its infancy, leaving a hugely exciting opportunity.

“We often see individual venues paying >£3 per click on google, with no guarantee of a booking. We’re here to help venue hosts reach high value audiences and connect with event organisers at low cost.

“With funding in place, we’re now able to fully potentialise our digital marketing expertise, rollout to venues nationwide and deliver an effortless online venue discovery experience for event organisers.”

Tom Singh, founder of New Look and investor in VenueScanner said:

“Rebecca and Benjy are enabling communication between organisers and hosts in a way that hasn’t been done before. They’re innovating the venue booking industry much like Skyscanner innovated the flight booking industry.

“I believe that in the not too distant future you won’t be able to have a meeting, event or celebration without checking VenueScanner first.”