Event networking app Grip raises $13M, as pandemic forces events to stay virtual – TechCrunch

With offline events now firmly moved to online for the foreseeable future, startups in the networking space had to pivot fast in the face of the pandemic. One of those was Grip, previously better known as a networking app for physical conferences (including TechCrunch Disrupt, at one point). Since last year, Grip moved into an “omnichannel” experience, combining various event types across virtual, hybrid and live. That strategy appears to have paid off as it has now raised a $13 million Series A funding round, taking its total amount raised to $14.5 million.

The round was led by London-based growth equity fund Kennet Partners. The raise is reflective of the boom in online events, which saw London-based startup Hopin raise a $40 million Series A last year. Founded in 2016, Grip counts some large event organizers as clients, including Reed Exhibitions and Messe Frankfurt.

In a statement, Tim Groot, CEO and founder of Grip, said: “Our mission is to empower organizers to bring professionals together to advance industries. This funding round is going to enable us to take the experience to a new level, leveraging our extensive industry-leading platform, offering unique value for Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person events.”

He said they would now be investing heavily in the product and looking to global expansion.

Other competitors to Grip have, in the past, included Brella, which raised $1.5 million, and Swapcard, which has raised $6 million to date.

So why is it that Grip seems to have pulled away