DSW Angels Completes Third Investment

PopTopUK Limited, the UK’s leading online events marketplace, has secured a £615,000 equity investment from a syndicate led by Dow Schofield Watts Angels and Northstar Ventures.

Over 30 angel investors took part in the funding round, which will be invested in sales and marketing to support the imminent launch of PopTop’sreal-time bookingsystem.

PopTop, which is based in Newcastle, is the only real-time transactional booking platform for the UK events sector. It provides an online marketplace which matches people planning events with suppliers such as caterers, entertainers and photographers.The business has a particular focus onweddings, celebrations and corporate events.

The company is led byEugeneShestopalandIgnatTkhorovskiy, who started it in Kiev in 2014 and relocatedto Newcastle the year afterwith the support ofNorthstarVentures. PopTop has scaled up steadily and is already in profit. It employs nearly 20 staff in Newcastleand Kiev.

As part of the dealRod Bulmer,who has made asignificant personal investmentin the company,will becomenon-executive chairman. Rod has a strongtrack record as a marketing executive in the consumer and financial services sectors, and was one of the key players in the turnaround of the Co-operative Group.Rod Bulmer said: “Digital marketplace businesses are redefining the consumer model and consumer expectationsfor the better in many different areas. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the PopTop team as they redefine the events sector in the UK and beyond.”

EugeneShestopal, founder and CEO, said:“Our mission is to make event planning as easy and safe as booking a hotel online.We want to bethego-to marketplace, and to expand internationally. We are very happy with the team we have assembled following this round. Ourinvestors arepassionate about our business and experienced enough to help us to sky-rocket its development.”

Dow Schofield Watts Angels now has over 70 investors and has received applications from well over 350 tech firms since it was launched in Summer 2017. David Smith, who heads the network, says:“EugeneandIgnatare incredibly talented entrepreneurs, and we’re looking forwardto helping them scale this business. Eventswas one of the fewsectorswhich did not have an effective digital marketplace.PopTop has filled that gap andnow has its sights firmlyseton market dominance.”

NorthstarVentures,which first invested in 2015,is making a major follow-on on investment in this round. Rick Charnley, investment manager forNorthstar, comments:“EugeneandIgnathave been a pleasure to work with andtheir level of commitment, team ethic and executionhavebeenimpressive. We’rereallyexcited about theirexpansionplans for PopTop which this funding round will help unlock.”

The deal was introduced to Dow Schofield Angels by Will Schaffer atNorthInvest. The investors were advised by the corporate team at Weightmans LLP in Manchester, led by Sarah Walton, and by the corporate team at Watson Burton LLP in Newcastle led by NickGray.