“Choose your investors wisely – you’ll deal with them every day” – Eventtus

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Egyptian events management platform Eventtus is planning a new funding round in 2015 to enable the startup to expand regionally, however, the co-founders say raising investment is not only about the money, but the skills and vision investors bring to the deal is also crucial.

Eventtus is a mobile and online platform serving the whole events lifecycle.  From streamlining organisation and ticketing prior to the event, facilitating engagement with attendees during the event, and collecting post-event analytics, the startup aims to unlock the maximum value from events.

In an interview with Disrupt Africa, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Eventtus, Mai Medhat, said the co-founders are proud of the startups’ achievements to date, but nonetheless plan to raise new funding in 2015 to enable accelerated growth and expansion.

“We’re proud of our achievements over the last two years – we got accepted to the BlackBox accelerator in Silicon Valley [in 2014].  We won Samsung’s best mobile app award for 2013, and we won AT&T’s most efficient app [competition]during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2013,” Medhat said.

“We’ve big plans for 2015, we’re increasing our operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region,” she said.

“We’re looking to raise a series A round in 2015 to accelerate our growth and regional expansion.”

Having launched Eventtus, the co-founders initially bootstrapped until the startup proved its concept and model through attracting paying customers.

Eventtus makes money by charging a subscription fee for each event – with three different levels of service available at varying fees.  Commission-based charges also apply for using Eventtus to sell tickets to events.  The app is free for all event attendees.

The startup then went on to raise US$175,000 in seed funding from Vodafone Ventures and Cairo Angels.

According to Medhat, the startup was very “lucky” in partnering with these investors.  The co-founder says it is not money which makes investors so important in the life of a startup, but rather the skills and other input investors can offer to grow the company.

“We’re very lucky with our investors, we couldn’t have made it that far without their support. They help us in every possible way,” Medhat said.

“My advice to all startups and entrepreneurs is: ‘Don’t compromise with your investors. Don’t accept a deal only for the money, choose your investors wisely. They’ll be your partners and you’ll work and deal with them everyday, make sure they have the same vision for your product’.”

Similarly, Medhat says that while Egypt has not yet reached the status of being a regional hub, there is a vibrant startup ecosystem with many networking opportunities, which is of unparalleled value to entrepreneurs.

“The ecosystem in Egypt is growing and getting connected every day. More experienced entrepreneurs and mentors are contributing to the ecosystem, sharing their experience and helping each other,” she said.

“One of the advantages that we have is that within the community almost everyone knows everyone; and we have many small groups of entrepreneurs who meet regularly to share their ideas, tips and lessons learned,” Medhat said.

Nonetheless, Medhat says more remains to be done to support entrepreneurs in Egypt, and more investment is necessary to spur the ecosystem.

“We still have a lot to do but I believe we’re on the right track.  Egypt is not a hub in the region, we have so much talent, but we still need more investments, and accelerators to support the startups.”

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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