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EventsAIR Taps Former Hopin Exec as New CEO as Part of New Private Equity Infusion

Skift Take

Australian events management software provider EventsAIR has selected U.S.-based event tech veteran Matthew Donegan-Ryan as its next CEO. The move is part of a significant private equity investment led by The Riverside Company. Founder Trevor Gardiner, who was CEO, takes on the role of executive director of product innovation.

The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm, has invested in Australian events management software solutions provider EventsAIR. Founder Trevor Gardiner and other members of the management team including incoming CEO Matthew Donegan-Ryan also took part in this investment.

Although financial details of the investment were not made public, Riverside refers to this as one of the largest ever in a private events technology company, likely placing the investment above $100 million as its investments typically range from $100 to $400 million.

Donegan-Ryan will be joining the business as CEO on April 1. Donegan-Ryan was previously in leadership roles at Cvent and Swapcard, and most recently led Hopin’s trade show team until he was laid off in February when Hopin shuttered the division as part of its downsizing. “I am thrilled to lead EventsAIR on the next phase of its evolution, collaborate with Trevor and the Riverside team, and support the industry for its exploding in-person comeback,” said Donegan-Ryan.

EventsAIR breadth of event tech is impressive and something that played a part in attracting investment and the new leadership. “I have followed EventsAIR for over a decade and was consistently impressed by the comprehensive breadth of its offerings,” said Donegan-Ryan.

Donegan-Ryan acknowledges that the platform would benefit from an update to its user interface as well as its branding. At the same time, he is confident that he can help increase revenue, even if profit margins may be reduced.

Riverside is aiming for international expansion, particularly in the attractive U.S. market, exactly where Donegan-Ryan has built his reputation. It has immediate plans to hire in tech, sales and client services as it looks to increase revenue. Acquisitions are not planned for now, but it will be taking a close look at companies that complement its technology offering or that can boost its growth plans in specific regions or industry sectors.

Over its 30-year history, EventsAIR has delivered more than 350,000 events mainly in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The company’s customer base is focused on professional conference organizers and industry associations with corporations and educational institutions also part of the mix.

This investment is a huge vote of confidence in EventsAIR’s ability to build on its strong product legacy, largely built on supporting in-person events. It’s also a very positive sign for event tech providers looking for life beyond the Covid cohort.