San Francisco, Calif. – April 21st, 2022 – Perfect Venue, a private event management platform for independent restaurants and venues, announced its $3.6M Seed funding today. The round was led by defy.vc, with participation from Amity Ventures and Context Ventures. Caviar Co-Founder Shawn Tsao, Dutchie Co-Founder Sam Ellis, and Meritech Co-Founder Paul Madera also joined the round, amongst others. Brian Rothenberg of defy.vc will be joining Perfect Venue’s board of directors. The new investors are joining The Hustle Fund and Wisdom LLP who invested in Perfect Venue’s pre-seed round. The funds will go towards product development to deliver an unparalleled experience for restaurant and venue operators.
Before founding Perfect Venue, CEO and Co-Founder Luke Hutchison served in the US Army. In between deployments, his unit would often have social events at restaurants. While planning these events, Luke was surprised to learn that many restaurants were still using spreadsheets, Word docs, and handwritten credit card authorizations to manage events that were tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, they would make mistakes, waste hours, and lose revenue to large chains that had already digitized their operations. The alternative was using expensive, old, and complicated event management software that wasn’t mobile-friendly.
“To me, it didn't seem fair that small business owners should be stuck with those two bad options - so we launched Perfect Venue to change that,” said Hutchison. “Private events represent about a third of independent restaurants’ revenue, or $80B each year in the US, so it is a critical revenue stream for restaurants.”
Perfect Venue’s all-in-one event management platform allows restaurants to easily respond to messages, send fast and professional proposals, and securely collect payments online. By streamlining the entire process in one platform, Perfect Venue’s customers report saving 12 hours per week and see an increase in sales of more than 40% when they switch to Perfect Venue.
“Perfect Venue allowed me to organize and revitalize the Events Department for Bristol Brewing,” said Chris Reyes the Events Director at Bristol Brewing in Colorado. “Before Perfect Venue, I juggled multiple email inboxes, Excel, Word, Google Docs, a paper calendar, and Google Calendar. Perfect Venue consolidated all of that and saved me hours every day. It also made it easier for me to capture more guests and increase vital revenue.”
“This investment will allow us to better achieve our mission of bringing communities together and empowering small businesses by making the event booking experience effortless,” said CTO and Co-Founder Matt Walters. “We already integrate with popular tools like OpenTable and Tock, but now we’ll have the resources to build deeper POS integrations, a native app, a room layout generator, and more. As a result, these improvements will give our customers even more of a competitive edge for their events business.”
Counterintuitively, the pandemic has accelerated Perfect Venue’s growth. With many restaurants facing a staffing shortage, restaurants have increasingly turned to software that can save them time and money. According to the National Restaurant Association, 78% of restaurant owners across the US report they don’t have enough employees to support their current customer demand.
With Perfect Venue being in the events business, it’s only fitting that Hutchison first met their lead investor Brian Rothenberg of defy.vc at a startup event in San Francisco. “Meeting Luke at a startup conference in San Francisco and in getting to know him over the next two years, I was continuously impressed by his tenacity. I also became convinced that there is a large market need for Perfect Venue’s software to digitize this $80B offline industry,” said Rothenberg.
Rothenbergs’s experience leading Eventbrite’s growth from startup through IPO, as well as his experience founding and building other startups, made him a natural fit to lead the round. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Brian join our team and help us take Perfect Venue to the next level,” said Hutchison.
About Perfect Venue
Perfect Venue helps independent restaurants, hospitality groups, and venues compete with big chains by providing an easy-to-use and affordable tool to easily manage their private events. Perfect Venue allows venues to easily collect leads, send proposals, manage availability, generate BEOs, and get paid all in one place. Perfect Venue is a remote-first company with its headquarters in San Francisco.
Founded in 2016, defy.vc is a Silicon Valley based early stage venture capital firm. Defy was founded to invest in entrepreneurs and companies looking to solve complex problems. Defy's focus is to help early stage companies mature and scale into companies ready for growth capital. The firm's team has more than 50 years of venture experience, successful operating backgrounds and actively helps successful entrepreneurs grow companies from inception through exit. Connect with defy at Defy.vc and @defyvc.