INTERVIEW: Egypt's Eventus looks to leadership market position after Bevy acquisition - CEO

The acquisition deal was the culmination of nearly 10 years of hard work, says CEO

  
Nihal Fares, CPO & Co-Founder at Eventus, Mai Medhat, CEO and Co-founder at Eventus.

Nihal Fares, CPO & Co-Founder at Eventus, Mai Medhat, CEO and Co-founder at Eventus.

Eventus / Handout via Zawya

On July 14, Eventus, a nine-year-old Egyptian event management software company, was acquired by Bevy, the Palo Alto–based enterprise community event engine. Mai Medhat, the CEO of Eventus, said that the agreement marks a successful exit for her startup and the beginning of a new journey towards a better leadership position in the global market.

“When an entrepreneur launches a business, they always dream of a particular denouement of their journey,” Medhat told Zawya. “It is great to have such an exit that crowns all the hard work and the efforts that we exerted over the years.”

THE LEAD-UP TO ACQUISITION

“Bevy is one of the top event management tech companies in the world. They have raised more than $60 million and have big global customers such as Google, Facebook, Salesforce and Slack,” said Medhat.

The deal was the outcome of nearly four years of cooperation between Eventus and Bevy. “I have known Bevy and its CEO for so long. Bevy has been one of our customers. They have been using Eventus mobile app in their events,” she added.

When COVID-19 hit, the two companies started sharing notes on strategies to survive the blow to their businesses, a development that strengthened their ties.

As soon as Bevy raised $ 40 million in a Series C round in March, serious acquisition talks kicked off, added Medhat who declined to disclose the deal size.

EVENTUS’S STRENGTHS

Medhat and Nihal Fares were fresh graduates of Ain Shams University’s School of Engineering when they founded Eventus in 2012. Through its mobile app, Eventus allows firms to host virtual, hybrid as well as in-person events. Since its inception, the company has landed several prestigious clients including Rise Up Summit, the World Bank, the International Financial Cooperation, Vodafone, Startup Grind and DMG Events.

Since its founding, Eventus has raised a total of $4 million from several local and regional investors including Algebra Ventures, 500 startups, Raed Ventures, Hala Ventures and Cairo Angels.

“Fundraising was one of the main challenges that we faced,” Medhat said. “When we first started, the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem did not look the same way it does now. Access to finance was not as easy as it is now.”

Medhat believes two factors made her company attractive to Bevy: the quality of their product and the expertise of their team.

“We have invested heavily in our product and our technology. We pay a lot of attention to small details that can improve the user experience,” said the 33-year-old entrepreneur. 

“As to our expertise, we have been working in this field for almost 10 years. We are very good at organizing in-person events that range in size from 100 to hundreds of thousands of attendees. We are also able to come up with new ideas and improve our product all the time,” she added.

With this acquisition, Medhat and her partner Fares are expected to join Bevy’s leadership team. Fares will become Bevy’s Director of Product Management, while Medhat will serve as Vice President for Innovation. “I will be working with all teams and all departments to lead growth. I will be also working on the integration of the technology and products of both companies so that we can, together, have better offerings and eventually secure a more advanced leadership position in the market,” Medhat said.

The deal does not require that Eventus as a brand shall dissolve into Bevy. “We built a very strong brand name and we are well known not only in Egypt [but also] in the region,” said Medhat. “Bevy wants to leverage the brand awareness and the brand ownership of Eventus.”

FUTURE PLANS

As to their product expansion plans, Medhat said that they will be focusing on developing tools that maintain channels of communication between clients and attendees even after events are concluded. “We both believe that events are not a one-time or a one-day gathering,” said Medhat. “We will be offering marketing tools such as surveys, invitations, emails and newsletters that could help event organizers have open communication with their clients throughout the year.” 

Bevy and Eventus are also expected to increase their technological investments in different types of events. “We believe that we should invest in in-person, hybrid as well as virtual events. All three are expected to co-exist,” said Medhat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a heavy toll on the global events market due to travel restrictions across the world and stay-at-home orders. Since mid-2020, Eventus has been reinventing its products to serve virtual events. With more countries rolling out their own vaccination campaigns, Medhat believes that in-person events will make a strong comeback.

“We hope this acquisition will mark the beginning of a series of similar deals, and we hope to see more international companies showing interest in the Egyptian market,” she said.

(Reporting by Noha El Hennawy; editing by Seban Scaria)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here

© ZAWYA 2021


More From Technology