Toronto-based software startup Happin, which offers a platform for hybrid, virtual and in-person events, has secured $1.2 million USD in seed funding to accelerate its growth.
The equity financing, which was Happin’s first round of funding to date, came from Manuel DaCosta, CEO of Toronto-based media and broadcasting company MDC Media Group.
Happin plans to use the funding to launch new products, increase its sales, and expand its team.
Happin’s goal is to help the live performance industry navigate the future of events, both during COVID-19 and post-pandemic.
The startup plans to use the funding to launch new product offerings, increase its sales, and expand its team.
“Venues, promoters, fans and artists all want live events but without the risk of cancellations or shutdowns,” said Alex Li, Happin’s CEO. “Happin helps mitigate these risks while also providing an easy, more engaging event management and participation experience.”
Happin was founded in 2017 as CrowdCore, “a multi-event, bespoke ticketing platform.” The startup said its vision was “to connect like-minded people together through their love of events.” CrowdCore was testing its final product when COVID-19 first hit and the events industry shut down.
As a result, the startup pivoted and applied its existing knowledge and tech to build a livestream platform, changing its name to Happin. Today, Happin offers a hybrid entertainment platform for live events, available on desktop and via mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
“Seeing as COVID disrupted in person shows, our customers needed us to build a ticketing solution for them to actually run a flexible business,” Li told BetaKit.
Happin’s platform facilitates in-person and virtual events like concerts, connecting promoters with venues, fans, and artists. The startup’s platform allows venues to put on traditional in-person shows while also establishing a virtual presence.
The startup’s new offering combines ticketing, livestream, and fan engagement, including features like audio after-parties, VIP fan meetings, virtual gifting, in-stream merchandise sales, and on-demand playback. Happin currently focuses on music concerts. In the future, the startup plans to expand to other entertainment events like comedy and build out its first event-based social network.
“Happin has a unique business model that addresses all of the pain points within the live event industry that resulted from the pandemic,” said DaCosta. “They’ve set a new standard for events, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”
Although the future format of live events remains uncertain, Happin is poised to facilitate events in a variety of forms, from fully virtual to in-person and hybrid performances.
“Returning to in-person events has always been our plan,” said Li. “We are focusing on the long-term so we think when events return to in-person, the hybrid model is the perfect way to elevate in-person events – all while generating more ROI (for promoters and venues) and increasing fan engagement.”
Happin currently serves venues like Thunder Studios in Los Angeles, The Bowery Electric in New York, Markham Fairgrounds, and The Axis Club in Toronto.
UPDATE (07/15/21): This article has been updated to include responses from Happin.