16th July 2019
PopTopUK Limited, the UK’s leading online events marketplace, secured a £615,000 equity investment through a co-fund with NorthInvest, Angel Syndicate Dow Schofield Watts Angels (DSW), the Northern Angel Network, and Northstar Ventures.
The company is led by Eugene Shestopal and Ignat Tkhorovskiy, who started it in Kiev in 2014 and relocated to Newcastle the year after with the support of Northstar Ventures. PopTop has scaled up steadily and was already a profit-making venture when it approached NorthInvest. It employs nearly 20 staff in Newcastle and Kiev.
What problem is PopTop solving?
PopTop, which is based in Newcastle, is the only real-time transactional booking platform for the UK events sector. As anyone who has ever tried to plan a wedding will appreciate, event planning is stressful, time-consuming to coordinate multiple individuals and suppliers.
PopTop provides an online marketplace which matches people planning events with suppliers such as caterers, entertainers and photographers. The business has a particular focus on weddings, celebrations and corporate events.
As David Smith of Dow Schofield Watts, points out: “Events was one of the few sectors which did not have an effective digital marketplace. PopTop has filled that gap and now has its sights firmly set on market dominance.”
What was the funding used for?
Eugene Shestopal, founder and CEO, explains: “Our mission is to make event planning as easy and safe as booking a hotel online. We want to be the go-to marketplace, and to expand internationally. We are very happy with the team we have assembled following this round, which will be invested in sales and marketing to support the imminent launch of our real-time booking system. Our investors are passionate about our business and experienced enough to help us to sky-rocket its development.”
Over 30 angel investors invested in the round from across NorthInvest, NorthStar Ventures, Northern Angel Network and DSW, including former Director of Co-Op Bank and NorthInvest Angel Rod Bulmer, who also joined the company as a Non-Executive Director. Bulmer was not only one of the key players in the turnaround of the Co-operative Group, but also has a strong track record as a marketing executive in the consumer and financial services sectors:
“Digital marketplace businesses are redefining the consumer model and consumer expectations for the better in many different areas. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the PopTop team as they redefine the events sector in the UK and beyond.”
Other PopTopUK investors include Dow Schofield Watts Angels (DSW), Northern Angel Network, and Northstar Ventures.