A Modena startup that aggregates events has conquered Silicon Valley

A Modena startup that aggregates events has conquered Silicon Valley

Evensi, the most important aggregator of events conceived in Modena and sprouted in San Francisco, was acquired for several million dollars by the ticketing giant Events.com. The figures have not been revealed, but the founders of the startup Yuri Grassi, Emanuele Corradini, Paolo Privitera and Andrea Pelleschi have certainly secured at least one chapter in the epic narrative that warms the hearts of the young founders of innovative companies.

"In 2016, thanks to mutual friends, I met Yuri in San Francisco, where I live permanently - Paolo Privitera, former CEO of Evensi and now executive vice president of corporate development at Events.com, explains to sportsgaming.win. less than a year and aggregated events in the Modena area. I fell in love with the project, also because I had thought of something similar when I was still in Italy. And so we created the US office and kept the team of developers in Modena ".

What Evensi does Evensi has always done something very well and better than Google: to aggregate any type of event by scanning not only the ticketing sites, but also the ports low-profile specialized wings and even the outdated html pages of chambers of commerce recording these activities. "I remember that six months before the lockdown even Google came to ask us how we did it. We have a technology that is able to search for events, locate them, aggregate them and even scrape them legally," explains Privitera. The so-called web scraping is a technique that allows you to extract data from any website, but if you consider that there are about 2 thousand events a day in San Francisco alone, it is easy to understand how complicated it can be to do it globally with efficiency.

Moreover, if in the embryonic phase each event was indexed by address, city, type and time, with the introduction of artificial intelligence technologies (natural language processing) it was possible to process 500 single unique information ( data point) related. To then be compared with the 200/300 information relating to the user to implement the desired correspondence. It is clear that in the homepage of a jazz and painting lover, the viewing of concerts of this type and neighboring exhibitions will be privileged, compared to courses of salt paste and belting at over 500 kilometers away.

The map of events Evensi

evensi At the same time, the organizers of any type of event can improve their positioning in indexing, activate digital marketing tools, start advertising campaigns also on social networks. According to Privitera, only the big players in the sector can compete with this level of sophistication. The startup has always had relationships with ticketing platforms and, despite the transition to Events.com from February, you can continue to buy tickets on competitors Ticketone, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, EventBrite and many others.

In practice, Events.com has integrated Evensi's event indexing technology and all other marketing services designed for organizers into its b2b tool on discover.events.com. "The prospect is to become a 'Netflix of events' with a monthly payment that allows users unlimited access to any kind of gig or activity. We are working on the referral system and the super app under development is reminiscent of the Instagram experience. with the ability to scroll through every concert or show at your fingertips ", says Privitera. Philosophically it reminds a little of Netflix and a little of Amazon: a monthly flat rate to enjoy everything, direct or intermediated management of sales and social marketing à la carte.

From the origins to the acquisition From 2017 to March 2020 the Evensi startup runs at full speed, has a seven-figure bill and manages millions of users while counting on a staff of eight people in San Francisco and 23 in Italy. Among the investors, the name of Primo Ventures Sgr di Gianluca Dettori stands out and there is the support of the accelerator Junto Innovation Hub. The site aggregates 120 types of events: concerts, shows, exhibitions, live music in restaurants, outdoor yoga courses.

Events in Milan

events We are constantly talking about a gigantic database updated that indexes anything in North America, Europe and partially South America. "In six years we have processed 240 million events worldwide. We had sixty million users and eleven million organizing customers. We were even thinking of acquiring a ticket company", recalls Privitera.

The land is fertile and is expected even the landing on the stock exchange in Sydney, but two weeks after the bell comes the lockdown due to the Covid-19 emergency. In the spring of 2020 it is a sequence shot of empty rooms and barred doors: no exit and entry routes for the Evensi cash desks. At the time, the business model was mostly based on advertising (programmatic advertising) and the ability for event organizers to pay to gain positions in search results.

All over? "After two weeks of entrepreneurial depression and also a senseless spirit of denial towards Covid-19, I reacted - says Privitera -. And in about six months I contacted seventy ticketing platforms to try to be acquired. They all answered me with great solidarity and progressively I got nine proposals. Most of them were acquisitions of a few pennies with the promise of hiring the whole team. We were not looking for a job but to save the company ".

Emanuele Corradini , Paolo Privitera and Yuri Grassi

We finally arrive at a serious proposal made by an important company which, however, "has a problem of corporate culture", according to Privitera, which, however, after the classic financial x-ray, at twenty-four 'hours from the signing he pulls back: "I couldn't stand the founder, it would have been terrible to work with him. Then another proposal came but again from a reality with another problem of corporate culture. At that point I wrote to the CEO of Events.com, who had stayed in my mind for his reply to my email. I told him: 'This is the offer of the others, I fell in love with you, make us a competitive offer and we will come with you' ".

The official offer arrives in mid-July 2020. Privitera accepts immediately and then three months of due diligence pass. Even in this round no problems emerge. October 8, 2021 is the day of the signing and August 31, 2022, the communication of the operation became public. "It was the happiest professional moment. of my life. And the wonderful thing that struck me is that a third of the due diligence was done on our corporate culture. We found ourselves ", says the manager.

" One year later, the US leadership has confidentially acknowledged that our Italian engineers are really good, like theirs. They are very talented and most of them do not have degrees in computer engineering. I am convinced that the training they underwent and also the commitment of the co-founder Emanuele Corradini contributed ", concludes Privitera. It happens in Modena, where the word Avia Pervia: making the most difficult road easy.

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