Investing in fine wine to beat the pandemic wobble

Speaking to the UK Investor Magazine, Vindome Consultant and Master of Wine, Roderick Smith, MW, offered his insight into investing into an asset he thinks has the ability to ride out economic instability.

He says that fine wine emerged as one of the most robust investments following the 2008 financial crash, and though it’s hard to predict the outcome of the current economic uncertainty, fine wine‘s status as ‘a finite, luxury product with increasing demand’ gives it the ability to maintain something of a consistent performance versus other asset classes.

“Wine consumption continues to rise, and even in markets where future tax implications may have an effect on the wealthy, there remains a healthy appetite for fine wine. It may be time for introspection when it comes to investing in real estate, fine art, classic cars, or even the stock market, but wine seems to remain a safe bet”, said Mr Smith.


Read the whole article: UK Investor Magazine

Graduway Secures $60 Million Investment from K1 Investment Management

Graduway, the global leader in alumni engagement and career services management software for educational institutions and non-profit organizations, today announced a $60 million investment from K1 Investment Management, a leading private equity firm focused on enterprise software.

The company has established itself as a thought leader in both the alumni relations and career services industry over the last few years while simultaneously building a category-defining platform. With K1’s investment, Graduway has been able to rapidly expand its product suite from alumni relations into career services and development, mirroring the integration trend seen in the industry.

“Our partnership with K1 has provided our team with a powerful edge and set of capabilities to execute on our growth plans,” said Daniel Cohen, chief executive officer of Graduway. “As a result, Graduway has become the only provider for schools, universities and non-profits that is focused on the entire relationship lifecycle from prospective student, to student, to alum to donor.”

Read the article at: PRNewswire

Event Software Maker Bizzabo Raises $27 Million in Private Funding – The New York Times

Bizzabo, a U.S.-Israeli maker of software to manage and personalize professional events, said on Wednesday it raised $27 million in a funding round led by Viola Growth.

The latest round brings Bizzabo’s total fundraising to $56 million and will help the company expand its platform and grow its research and development, it said.

New investor Next47, as well as existing investors such as Pilot Growth, which led the company’s previous round, also participated in this round.

Bizzabo said it more than doubled its revenue in the last year and is working with Forbes, Dow Jones, Gainsight, Drift and others. It said its data-powered technology helps companies create, manage and execute professional events.

CEO Eran Ben-Shushan said one-quarter of business-to-business companies’ marketing is spent on live events.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

Read the article at: New York Times

Enterprise events management platform Bizzabo scores $27M Series D

Bizzabo, the New York and Tel Aviv-based events management platform, has raised $27 million in Series D funding. Leading the round is Viola Growth, along with new investor Next47.

We’re also told that previous backers, including Pilot Growth, followed on. The new funding brings the total raised by the company to $56 million.

Originally launched in 2012 as a networking app for event attendees, Bizzabo  now claims to be the leading end-to-end “Event Success Platform.” As it exists today, one way to describe the cloud-based software is akin to “Salesforce for events”: helping enterprises create, manage and execute every aspect of a live event.

As TechCrunch’s Catherine Shu previously wrote, the SaaS automates time-consuming event tasks related to email, social media and web marketing, and contact management.

There’s an increasing data play, too, with the ability to crunch and analyse event data to help event organisers garner more registrations, increase revenue and improve the overall attendee experience.

“Our vision is to provide a data-driven and personalized journey for attendees,” Bizzabo CEO and co-founder Eran Ben-Shushan tells me. “An 800-person conference should feel like 800 unique in-person event experiences. By leveraging hundreds of data points throughout the attendee journey, our customers can deliver extremely personalised promotion campaigns, custom-tailor the event agenda and proactively cater to each attendee action.”

As an example, Ben-Shushan says an attendee at a user conference can receive recommended sessions, business introductions and even sponsored offers based on interest and intent expressed before, during and after the event.

To that end, Bizzabo says its Series D will be used to expand the platform’s capabilities and continue to help enterprise and mid-market organizations “build data-driven, personalized and engaging professional event experiences.” That will include growing its R&D and own marketing teams, adding to the more than 120 current employees in its New York and Tel Aviv offices.

Ben-Shushan reckons that on average 25 percent of a B2B company’s marketing budget is spent on live events. This has resulted in the number of professional events increasing exponentially each year, such as conferences and seminars, trade shows or other experiences.

However, it remains a challenge to create, manage, market and measure the success of events while maximizing ROI — which is where Ben-Shushan says Bizzabo comes in.

Bizzabo’s better-known customers include Inbound, SaaStr, Forbes, Dow Jones, Gainsight and Drift. Meanwhile, the event management space as a whole is said to be worth $500 billion.


Read the article at: Techcrunch

TPG-Backed Makeup Startup Ipsy Is Considering a Sale or IPO

TPG-backed makeup-subscription service Ipsy is considering a sale or an initial public offering.

The company could fetch about $2 billion in a sale, the people said. A sale or IPO could take place next year, one of the people said.

Ipsy was valued at more than $500 million in 2015 when private equity firm TPG and venture capital shop Sherpa Ventures led a $100 million funding round, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

Ipsy sells a $10 monthly “glam bag” filled with five cult-favorite beauty products such as Benefit brand mascara or Smashbox makeup primer.

The company, based in San Mateo, California, was founded by social-media celebrity Michelle Phan and CEO Marcelo Camberos, an early employee at the humor website Funny-or-Die.

The company leans on social media influencers, called the Ipsy community, to grow a following and at times plug their products. The most influential of those people, called official creators, have hundreds of thousands of social media followers.

Read more at Bloomberg