Event app maker Zerista closes $2M to snatch up unclaimed market share

by Carlin Sack
August 13, 2014

Zerista, the Denver-based maker of apps for events, conferences and expos, just closed a $2 million round to claim its spot in the largely untapped market of corporate event apps.

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Right now only 29 percent of corporations have adopted event apps, but that is expected to jump to 50 percent within the next year. That leaves about 50 percent more of the market up for grabs, which is plenty of “green field” for Zerista and other players in the space like EventMobi and DoubleDutch to work with: “No one has a ton of market share right now, but there are some well-funded startups in the space,” CEO Eric Olson said.

But Zerista just might have it in the bag with their cross-device app. Zerista allows event attendees to build schedules, set up one-on-one meetings and keep track of event content while allowing marketers to target attendees using iBeacon and other tech. Additionally, Zerista has a big service component: “The service model goes beyond supporting the tech, but really helping people shape their experience. It’s more of an agency model: we’re partnering with them and helping them create the experience with the intelligence we have.”

“The other thing that differentiates us is our capability to integrate: our API creates a single window even though most event planners use four to six platforms at once,” Olson said. “We have over 130 integrations from event systems to CRMs to in-house systems.”

Under the new leadership of Olson, who took over the CEO position in fall 2013, Zerista is on track to double its revenue and client base this year (just as it did last year). Right now they have hundreds of clients around the world (Olson declined to share the exact number). While working on gaining new clients worldwide, the 15-person team is working on improving the experience for current users, namely with iterations of their polling/surveying platforms (which collect useful data for after the event) and their one-on-one meeting platform.

“We are releasing the newest version of our meetings platform that encourages people to have the right meetings and make it a really productive event,” Olson said. “We are allowing events to add a lot more value when they bring buyers and sellers togethers.”

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