Ok, the top image was a joke when the company was looking for a new office space, but with a new funding, Venuu seems like a Finnish company that has legs. They’re doing something simple – AirBNB style bookings for event venues, but by putting together high quality information about event locations and making it easy to book, the Finnish company has seen solid growth since launching after AaltoES’s Summer of Startups last year. Today they announce €125,000 in seed funding led by Reaktor Polte, with one other angel investor onboard.
At the moment they’re curretly focused on the Helsinki rentals, but have opened their doors in Finland’s southwestern city of Turku with a national total of 400 venues available to book through their platform. Up next they plan to spread to the whole of Finland, and then CEO Jasu Koponen explains they’re expanding in the traditional Finnish fashion, by either targeting Sweden or the UK next.
When you say “AirBNB for event venues” you would think there would be a strong competitor already in this market, but they see some competition from a German firm, but mostly are competing with online listings of event locations that really don’t add much value. “There are all kinds of listings online but they don’t solve the problem,” says Koponen. “You need lots of information and good pictures.”
Aside from geographic growth, Venuu sees themselves later expanding into the catering and entertainment space. Event venue search is good positioning because it’s the first thing you’re looking for when you plan an event, Koponen explains.
The messaging from Venuu in the past was to be a “AirBNB for events, but with this model they see themselves being a “Amazon for events” – a one-stop shop for everything you need to plan a sauna night, party, or conference.