Anglesey-based online events platform secures new investment deals


Anglesey-based online events platform Haia has announced major investment deals from seed funder SFC Capital and angel funding from Stakeholderz. Haia, which aims to rival Zoom and the like, was co-founded less than two years ago by Tom Burke and Andy Esser to facilitate online and hybrid events.

It has built-in accessibility features and real-time Welsh voice and text translation is being developed with Bangor University’s Language Technology Unit, Canolfan Bedwyr. Founder Tom Burke said: “This is great news for Haia and such a boost for our efforts to bring our product to market – we are very grateful to SFC Capital for joining us and trusting us. .

“Haia is a unique platform that aims to make events more accessible – and not just in the workplace. It was designed to be used for community events, artistic performances as well as meetings and conferences. From the start, we’ve been driven by a vision to create something more user-friendly than our competitors’ products and to make it easier for everyone to attend gatherings.

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“As we emerge from the pandemic, we must remember that online has worked well for some but has excluded others. Haia was designed to meet these challenges and exceed expectations of online and hybrid events.”

Ed Stevenson of SFC Capital added: “SFC Capital is delighted to invest in Haia and the exceptional team that supports it. With the increased prevalence of events and conferences held remotely, there has never been a better time for the product and technology developed by Haia. We expect the change in attendance to continue in this direction even if we leave the pandemic behind us, and we are sure that Haia will be at the forefront of this development.

Megan Snijman, Vice President of Operations, Stakeholderz added, “We are delighted to have participated in this funding round for Haia, bringing angel investment to the company. It was great working with Tom and we look forward to seeing them grow. As a platform that organizes many online and in-person events, we look forward to using Haia ourselves. »

The investment from SFC Capital, Stakeholderz and individual angel investors is £210,000 and comes on top of the £470,000 funding already secured from Innovate UK. From its base at the iconic M-SParc in Gaerwen, Haia already employs a team of five and aims to launch this summer.

With bold ambitions for growth, the team is now calling on groups, businesses and organizations to sign up to run test events using the free “Haia Hosts” service. Tom said, “As we finalize the development and design of our platform, we want to talk to people who want to use Haia for their events supported by our technical team. If anyone would like to know more, I invite them to contact us.

The news of the investment comes weeks after Haia was nominated as a finalist for the Daily Post Business Awards.

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