Everfest, an online search engine and calendar for festivals around the world, today announced funding of $3.6 million in a round co-led by Live Nation Entertainment and ATX Seed Ventures. Benchmark Capital’s Bob Kagle also returned as an individual investor.
One of the first questions CEO Jay Manickam and his cofounder, Paul Cross, asked when they founded Everfest in 2014 was: “What qualifies as a festival?” The two created a “Fest Test” that they now use to decide if something should live on Everfest. Among other things, the festival must be multi-dimensional in terms of activities, physically occur in the real world, and not discriminate by age, race, gender, or religion. The website encompasses a wide range of categories, from music and film to food and art.
Manickam says there are currently about 16,000 festivals live on the site, spanning 97 countries and seven continents. “And, yes, that means we have festivals in Antarctica!” he wrote in an email to VentureBeat. Manickam would not disclose the exact number of monthly visitors using Everfest, but said it is in the multiple millions. Users can choose to become premium members to get ticket discounts, VIP access, and more.
The annual subscription starts at $49 for new members and then increases to $99 a year. Manickam discussed other potential sources of revenue in the future. “We’ve already begun building tools for the various pieces of the festival ecosystem, from organizers to vendors, artists and sponsors,” he wrote. “Our scale allows us to provide unique data insights across the industry, and we’ll be opportunistic as these potential revenue streams present themselves.”
According to Manickam, there are at least a quarter of a million festivals going on each year around the world. With popular events like Coachella and Burning Man pulling in an increasing number of millennials and celebrities, the demand for festivals is there. Other online portals include FestivalFinder, Festivals.com, and Festicket. Everfest acquired one of its competitors, Fest300, last September to expand its editorial team.
Existing investors Red Frog Events and Joie de Vivre Hotels founder Chip Conley also participated in today’s round. The fresh capital will be used to expand marketing initiatives, add a larger selection of international festivals (currently about 10 percent of the database), and grow the team of 25. Everfest is also looking to develop a mobile app for premium members to manage and redeem perks.
Based in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, the startup has raised a little over $6 million to date.