If you’ve been to a music, sporting or lifestyle event recently, it’s likely you’ve experienced Howler – one of South Africa’s leading event ticketing and cashless platforms – through their next-generation technology of seamless ticket purchasing process or its onsite cashless system – or both. To date, Howler has processed over R1,5-billion worth of transactions and millions of tickets across thousands of events. Now, with the Series B funding round raised, it will be further developing its end-to-end event technology stack, growing its market share in Sub-Saharan Africa, and expanding into Europe and Asia-Pacific.
“We are doubling down on our technology to create a more seamless and connected event experience for all our stakeholders, event organisers , vendors and event goers,” explains Howler Co-founder and CEO, Shai Evian.
“We are particularly passionate about the event goers’ experience so a significant portion of the investment is to be used to enhance the experience for the already 1 million-plus event goers who use our platforms. We are looking at the entire experience from end to end – from event discovery and buying tickets, to attending and in-event purchasing. We want them to spend less time in queues and more time enjoying the event itself and ultimately help event organisers make moments that matter. We are also really excited to show the rest of the world just how Africa is transforming the event experience.”
Techstars’ global network of mentors, accelerator programmes and portfolio companies; Platform45’s software savvy and expertise in product design, mobile and web development; together with Platform Growth’s permanent capital vehicle, all ensure that Howler is equipped with value from multiple avenues, including software development, funding and access to a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Howler is the first South African tech company that Techstars has provided follow-on investment to. “We’ve been extremely impressed with the progress that the Howler team has made and by the growth of the company since completing the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, in 2017,” says Yossi Hasson, Techstars’ Managing Director. “As a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, we’re excited to support them in continuing on that journey. Our involvement gives Howler access to this network to help amplify their global reach in order for them to expand, attract capital and find exceptional talent.”
Having worked alongside Howler’s product team for many years, Platform45 Managing Director, Shaun Richards, says: “Our vision has always been to build software that helps businesses and people do more through the power of tech. When we started working with the team behind Howler, we immediately knew that this wasn’t just any idea, this was an idea that could change eventing around the world. With our investment in Howler, the commercial team can focus on growing their footprint globally without any concerns over the software scaling seamlessly, while Platform45 focuses on what we do best – supporting Howler’s platform team in building cutting-edge features that make Howler one-of-a-kind.”
“Platform Growth’s core mandate is to invest in uniquely competitive technology and highly competent management teams. Howler has demonstrated both of these attributes during our partnership,” says the company’s Director, Michael Stannard. “Howler’s platform fills a unique space in the industry that offers a seamless, proven and scalable solution for event organisers, attendees and vendors. The platform combines a deep understanding of the event organisers’ requirements, with an exceptional team of software developers.”
“I don’t believe there is another South African company investing this much into the space like we are. Our confidence in the future is at an all-time high,” says Evian.