Hurdl, the experiential marketing company that provides a comprehensive analytics platform for collecting, analyzing and generating insights from attendee data for live events, announces the successful completion of Techstars Music accelerator program.
In addition, the company is closing out a $2.5 million seed round of funding. Strategic investors include current or previous athletes and executives across the NBA, NHL, CBS, 300 Entertainment, LaCorte Ventures, Turner Sports, CNBC, PRG, Morris Lighting and Sound, among others.
On May 18, 2017 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, Hurdl presented at Techstars Music “Demo Day,” the concluding event of the first-ever music-focused program conducted by Techstars in which only 11 companies were invited to participate out of thousands of applicants worldwide. Throughout the three-month intensive accelerator, Hurdl worked closely with mentors from Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Ticketmaster, Coca Cola, Pandora, and others, each committed to providing coaching on topics ranging from business strategy to product.
At Demo Day, Betsy McHugh, founder and CEO of Hurdl, presented to a room of invite-only investors and music business executives.
“Having spent more than 20 years as a senior executive in entertainment and events, I have often looked out at huge crowds in venues thinking ‘Who are these people? How do we make fans in the nosebleed seats feel closer?’” said Ezra Kucharz, former president of digital media at CBS. “With Hurdl, the next-gen event experience is born, one where we can engage with entire audiences in real time without an app.” While introducing Hurdl at Demo Day, Kucharz noted, “I am honored to be both an investor and advisor to a company wise enough to create an entirely new revenue stream around events, with mobile and data at the forefront.”
In April 2017, Hurdl completed a four-show activation test at a series of deadmau5 events at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Hurdl’s pioneering approach and proprietary technology revealed the effectiveness of its direct real time marketing channel, in which 66 percent of deadmau5 audiences generated up to 24 percent new click throughs to a link sent via SMS after the show. Analytics from the activations also found that nine out of 10 concert-goers completed five or more questions, allowing Hurdl to create a more personalized and interactive show while learning valuable and actionable data about each attendee. Retargeting against Hurdl’s data produced a 364 percent increase in the number of conversions compared to traditional advertising around fans who simply “like” or “follow” brands or artists on social media.
“For example, we learned that deadmau5 has more PlayStation users in L.A. than Xbox users, and that their favorite music streaming platform is Spotify, with less than one percent on Amazon’s new streaming platform,” said McHugh. “Insights like these enable us to connect artists and brands with highly qualified marketing leads, knowing how best to reach and engage with each individual fan based on their unique preferences. Perhaps most importantly, the deadmau5 activation proved that Hurdl can collect unique data in a way that is engaging for fans and improves the overall live event experience.”
Funds from the round will be used for further development of Hurdl’s robust SaaS tool allowing clients to easily target highly qualified marketing leads. Additionally, Zach Shunk, Hurdl co-founder and CTO, sees continued evolution of the PIXL wearable in terms of increased functionality, design and lifespan with the goal of servicing more clients across professional sports, music festivals, cruise ships, casinos and beyond.
Hurdl also recently welcomed Baz Halpin, Silent House CEO and president and the creative director behind some of the world’s biggest tours, to its advisory board. Halpin joins other key leaders in the music and events industry including current and former executives from Virgin Group, Wilson Sonsini, CBS, and Creative Artists Agency.
Since officially launching in November 2016, Hurdl has completed activations at The 50th Annual CMA Awards and Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight New Year’s Eve Celebration in addition to servicing clients such as The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Styx, Keith Urban, Walmart, AT&T Fiber, and more.