Malaysia-based venture capital firm RHL Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in US-based technology startup Sidestep Technologies Inc along with other A list co-investors in Hollywood, marking RHL’s first investment in the West, it said in a statement Friday.
Among others that have invested in the company are music mogul and singer Beyoncé Knowles’ music manager Troy Carter, actor Jared Leto, Jamie McCourt — former CEO of Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Cornell of Manhead Merchandise.
Sidestep is a mobile commerce application with the slogan “Skip the Line” and creates a platform that allows their users to skip long queues during live music events when buying merchandise and other exclusive items. Instead, fans attending such events can pre-order their merchandise through the app and pick up their order at the show.
This allows for better planning in terms of stock the new solution to skipping queues and achieving a more efficient and enjoyable concert experience. Also, this leads to less leftover merchandise and fewer missed sales.
“RHL Ventures is excited to be part of Sidestep’s journey as they present the much needed innovation and disruption to the live event merchandising business.” said Raja Hamzah, Partner of RHL Ventures.
Sidestep is based in Los Angeles, CA and founded by Eric Jones (CEO) and Matt Gardner (CTO) in 2014 . It has helped artists such as Beyoncé, Adele and Fall Out Boy significantly increase sales of their concert merchandises.
Moreover, in addition to improving customer experience for fans, Sidestep provides artists and merchandisers with transparency and access to real time sales data, leading to more efficient procurement process.
“While the live event merchandising business is a billion dollar industry in the US, the industry is a nascent industry in Asia and we see great opportunities in replicating its success here in Asia Pacific as well as extending the verticals into sports,” Hamzah said.
RHL Ventures, the firm that was started in 2015 looks at investing in tech firms however in an interaction last year, Hamzah had told DEALSTREETASIA that while the firm was sector-agnostic, there were a few areas where it looked to make investments based on the strength of its promoters, including financial services, property, health and wellness and health care.
Besides their investment in Sidestep, RHL Ventures has also recently announced its maiden investment in Singaporean technology startup Perx, a mobile customer engagement platform.
Further, RHL is aiming to expand their investments mainly across Southeast Asia, making their investment in Sidestep their first foray into the West.