At the 2022 Princeton Women Founders Roundtable, we invited five outstanding Princeton alumnae to share their entrepreneurial journeys: Angel Brunner *97 (EB5 Capital), Genevieve Bellaire ’11 (Realworld), Steph Speirs *14 (Solstice), Catherine Dennig ’15 (Fursure), and Daphne Hoppenot ’10 (The Vendry), who moderated the discussion. Since then, The Vendry launched two new products and has made incredible progress.
The global event planning industry was evaluated at almost $1 trillion in 2021 and is projected to skyrocket to $2 trillion by 2028, according to Bloomberg. Despite the industry’s massive size, there was no consistent marketplace for event venues. In 2019, Hoppenot founded The Vendry with the mission to build the world’s leading online platform to seamlessly connect event planners and venue vendors. Since then, The Vendry has raised $8 million through venture funding and offers its service to various Fortune 500 companies and major non-profits.
As the pioneer of the event venue marketplace, The Vendry had to carve their own path to success. One of their biggest challenges has been building the most comprehensive venue database from scratch.The number of event venues in major cities is staggering. Event venues on their platform include every type of social space you can think of: restaurants, bars, hotels, museums, movie theaters, and more. In New York City alone, the team compiles and updates data on over 6,000 venues that change on a daily basis. Hoppenot noted that event planners want to rent “the newest, hottest place” before their competitors do. These demanding market conditions pose significant challenges to developing a comprehensive venue platform.
The Vendry has been gaining significant traction in the past year. Last December, the company launched their first paid solution, The Vendry Pro. This product offers information on over 15,000 venues across North America. In addition, The Vendry Pro features an all-in-one RFP tool, which allows companies to boost efficiency by streamlining the time-consuming data sourcing process. Earlier this year, the Vendry also launched The Vendry Copilot, a Chrome browser extension that enables users to further source and personalize their venues with ease.
With a great team of staff and investors, The Vendry continues to overcome the market challenges and distinguish itself from competitors. Hoppenot explained, “Our tool allows event planners to build a single inquiry and streamline the RFP process.” Their all-in-one platform allows users to create a rich and personalized experience. Looking back, Hoppenot said that her biggest lesson was to be flexible and to solve problems one step at a time. “There aren’t really silver bullets. We have to keep chipping away at the problem,” Hoppenot said, “Being closer to solving the problem can still make us the best option for event planners.”
Hoppenot gave credit to the Princeton ecosystem which gave a crucial push to The Vendry in its early stages. The robust Princeton alumni network allowed her to form connections with her current main alumni investors and gain invaluable feedback from its first Princeton customers.