In 60 seconds, I knew I wanted to talk to Allie Magyar about her business idea after I saw her pitch at an event. I handed her my card, and we took a meeting the next day.
Allie recognized the need for software like Hubb in the event space from her firsthand experience as an event manager. She felt so passionate about her idea that she used her own capital to build the product. Microsoft, believe it or not, was her first paying customer.
As more customers started using Hubb, Allie got to a point where she needed to scale the business. So, she went out and raised some money. Although…she didn’t just raise some money. In typical Allie fashion, she raised the most money that year for a seed-stage company.
In a matter of three months, Allie raised over $3M from all of the major venture funds, including Elevate Capital. We made our first investment of $50K from the Elevate Inclusive Fund, then committed another $450K in a deal that we co-led.
Now Hubb is here, beginning their Series B journey. And, Allie Magyar deserves all of the success she has worked so hard for.
Why Elevate Capital Invested in Hubb
Besides being a phenomenal product solving a big problem, the main reason we invested in Hubb is because of Allie Magyar.
It was amazing to see how she bootstrapped her company. She was unstoppable, driven by the problems she encountered for years in event management. She ran Microsoft Ignite, one of the biggest tech events in the world, and saw an opportunity to bring technology that would change this industry for the better.
Being an event manager is one of the most stressful jobs out there. Event managers are constantly dealing with issues, last-minute changes, and no-shows. Without technology, they’re managing schedules and speakers on sticky notes and spreadsheets. They have no central database for all of the content that goes into these events. Managing everything this way is such a laborious undertaking.
Beyond the incredible vision for this solution, Allie is a unique leader, very approachable and transparent. She has a way of connecting with people that is inviting and warm, and she has a high emotional IQ. She communicates extremely well about the problem she’s solving.
Because she’s a natural leader and communicator, she has built a great team at Hubb. Most of all, Allie is completely focused on making Hubb a huge success.
I’ve been on Allie’s board with two other male board members. I would classify this as a very high-functioning performing board at Hubb. Elevate was both a Series A and Series B investor in Hubb, and we will keep a board seat to continue to help Allie and the management team in partnership with other board members. That’s the kind of relationship Elevate has built with Allie Magyar and her team.
When Allie started looking at fundraising earlier in the year, Elevate offered to bridge her and she declined. Allie said: “No, I’m going to go raise the money that I need to take the company to the next level.”
Venture Capital for an Underserved Entrepreneur
Hubb was doubling revenue every year. Allie and her team hit all of their metrics, benchmarks, and customer acquisition targets. Even with all of that success, it took Allie about nine months—and conversations with 50 VC’s—to get her Series B funding.
Allie’s experience with Series B funding was another classic case of a woman entrepreneur being held to higher standards than her male counterparts, as a result of being overlooked. Less than 2% of all venture capital goes to women. This is why Elevate Capital exists, to provide funding and mentorship to underserved entrepreneurs.
More than 70% of the founders of Elevate’s portfolio companies belong to the underserved populations we set out to support from the beginning—Women, African American, Latino, LGBTQ, Veterans, and other minorities.
Of that total, 60% are women entrepreneurs and about half are African American and Latino entrepreneurs. The business ideas we see from these populations are no different from those entrepreneurs who have an easier time raising money.
The amazing thing about Allie is how she conducted herself throughout her Series B experience. During this time, she had two investors on her board that could have easily written her a check. But, Allie was determined to find a third party who would value the business on her own.
Eventually, Allie found the right investor in Five Elms Capital who had experience funding startups in the event management space. She raised a total of $6.3M, a substantial sum. We were fortunate to re-up our investment at Elevate as well.
Allie was the one out on the road, taking all of these VC meetings. Elevate, along with her other board members and investors, supported her throughout the process of raising a big round of funding. But, Allie was the one who went out there and made it happen.
What Worked for Hubb to Drive Success
Hubb’s product has a great product-market fit. It makes the event management process more efficient and eliminates manual work. Allie really identified the problem, because she herself was the customer. As an event manager, she would have purchased a solution like Hubb. In fact, she used Hubb to manage events when she had a viable product.
If you build a product around a common problem, execute well, and acquire customers, you are more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur. The characteristics with Hubb are very similar to what we saw with RFPIO, another Elevate Capital portfolio company that raised their Series A funding this year and exited its seed investors.
Both Hubb and RFPIO nailed it with their products. They set out to solve a problem and they did it better than their competitors. The result was a high degree of customer acquisition, and serving enterprise organizations that brought revenue and validation.
Both CEOs had one thing in common: They were completely focused on solving the problem they personally encountered, with nearly perfect product-market fit.
With Allie Magyar of Hubb, the success comes from all of it—the product and the team behind the product. Allie is one of the best salespeople I know, and she has a great sales team. People aren’t just buying the product. They are buying everything that Hubb provides to their customers, from managing their events to the level of service they are known for.
Series B: The Next Frontier for Hubb
For an early-stage company to have achieved all that Hubb has, with revenue and the number of customers, I’m floored. It’s truly fantastic. I can say with absolute confidence that Hubb is in the top five percentile of startups.
Series B is not about utilizing what you have and trying to build upon that. It’s like pouring gasoline to increase the fire and the heat. At this point in the game, it’s all about scaling.
Now that Allie and her team have this Series B funding, they are ready to launch into the next phase of growth. It’s time to bring more customers to ramp up the business. She needs to put together a larger team to meet her goals. Allie has the fund for investing in sales, so she can go out and scale the business.
If anyone can do this, it’s Allie. I’m proud to know her and proud to partner with her.