Bengaluru-based events equipment and packages booking marketplace Tosshead has raised Rs 36 lakh ($51,643 at current exchange rates) in seed funding from a bunch of high net-worth non-resident Indians, a company statement said.
Currently operational in Bengaluru, the startup will use the money to expand its services to other major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad in a span of 6 to 12 months, Shank K Vasudev, founder of Tosshead told TechCircle. Part of the capital will also be used to scale up its technology infrastructure.
Vasudev was previously a sales head at Franklin Templeton.
Tosshead, which began operations last month, allows users to book events including event packages and equipment online. The startup also provides services on rent such as sound, stage, lights, LED display, photography, videography, anchoring/emceeing, DJ, and manpower. The events and equipment can be booked and paid for on Tosshead which in turn pays the vendor keeping its margin.
Owned and operated by Tosshead Events India Pvt. Ltd, the company currently has over 500 vendors on its network ranging from sound or stage providers to dancers, DJs and magicians. Over 75% of its revenue is generated from individual customers (business-to-consumer) currently while it has on-boarded about 120 institutional customers (business-to-business) such as hotels and event management companies.
“Event management is an unorganised sector. Despite about 25% growth year-on-year, the industry continues to be unorganised and lacks transparency in terms of pricing or what the product or service they get. Use of technology is absolutely zero here. Our efforts are to transform it into an organised sector under a digital platform that can offer greater levels of transparency in pricing and product and service quality,” Vasudev said.
He claimed the company has already organised 75 events and has over 200 more in the pipeline at present.
Tosshead has also partnered with budget hospitality chain OYO for banquet hall bookings. In August 2018, OYO had bought Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors.
Deals in the space
Globally, interest in the activities and experiences segment has gained traction recently with several players taking bets by either building this offering organically or investing in existing companies.
Home rental firm Airbnb launched Experiences in 2017, hospitality major Marriott invested in activities meta search platform PlacePass, and travel aggregator Booking Holdings acquired activities distribution software provider FareHarbour. Viator (owned by TripAdvisor), GetYourGuide and Klook are the other companies active in this segment globally.
In India, travel aggregator Cleartrip offers events and activities on its platform.
Budget hotel chain Treebo also ventured into the space by acquiring events and activities marketplace platform Events High in May last year.