Ecommerce giant Rakuten is leading a $35m round in Fever, a data-led entertainment and experience company.
Fever is an events and experience technology company focused on inspiring users and helping event organisers generate demand. Fever owns the virally successful Secret Media Network and Secret London social media channel, which reaches 5 million Londoners each week.
This takes Fever’s total funding to $70 million ($50m raised in the last 12 months).
Fever will be using the funding to fuel expansion into new markets, with plans to open offices in Asia, North America and Europe in the coming months. The funding will also be used to enhance Fever’s technology offering.
Participation also comes from existing investors Atresmedia(one of the largest media groups in Europe and producer of the recent Netflix hit “Money Heist”) and Accel, as well as Michael Zeisser, the former chairman of US Investments for Alibaba Group. With this round, Fever will have raised over $70 million in total funding. This is the largest round recorded to date for an entertainment discovery platform and will continue to strengthen Fever’s position as a leader in the digitization of the Experience Economy.
Michael Zeisser will also be brought on as a non-executive board member, having previously served as a member of the boards of directors on Time, Inc., TripAdvisor and IAC/Interactive Corp.
“The investment comes at an important time for Fever, as we expand our platform, enter new markets, and shape the experience landscape with our Fever Originals,” said Ignacio Bachiller, co-founder and CEO of Fever. “The round will cement Fever’s position as the go-to platform for consumers looking to discover new urban experiences.”
The experience economy is one of the most significant socio-economic trends of the moment. McKinsey research indicates that expenditure on “experiences” is one of the largest household expenditure categories, currently at $2,000 per consumer annually in North America, while being the fastest growing category at 6% annually. Moreover, the experience economy is the last big consumer market to be overhauled by technology.
Fever inspires users to explore the best experiences in their cities while helping event organizers generate a very targeted demand. Fever’s mobile app and website, and its Secret Media Network, currently reach over 25 million unique users per month across its key markets (London, New York, Paris and Madrid). By applying a smart recommendation algorithm, the app features personalized listings and transactional capabilities covering a vast variety of experiences, including music festivals, gigs, theatre, fashion, immersive experiences, and pop-ups.
Fever’s new funding round will accelerate new market expansion, with an ambitious growth target. This expansion will follow last year’s successful launches in Paris, Los Angeles, Lisbon, and Manchester. Fever’s revenue growth exceeds 100% annually.
“We have been impressed by Fever’s growth and success in reaching large digital audiences in major cities such as New York, Madrid and London – and most importantly the quality and leadership of their young team,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner at Rakuten Capital. “Fever’s innovative solutions uniquely position the company to capitalize on the fast-growing experience economy and have proven very valuable to digital marketers. We are excited to be part of Fever’s journey and look forward to exploring synergies with Rakuten’s global ecosystem.”
Fever expanded its presence in the US in 2018 and entered Deloitte’s ‘Fast 500 Technology Companies’ for North America rankings and was ranked in the “Top 5” media and entertainment category. Fever and its channels now reach a quarter of the population in both LA and NYC.
Fever will continue to grow its unique ‘Fever Original Experiences’, a series of exclusive events created by combining first hand marketplace data and the creativity of its organizers. Fever Originals have been attended by over 200,000 paying customers to date. The behavioural data obtained from its mobile discovery platform enables Fever to customize its Fever Originals with a unique appeal. This approach emulates Netflix’s tech-driven programming recommendations.
Fever will also continue to expand its talent pool of engineering and its data science team to further consolidate its leadership as the leading technology platform in the experience economy.