Event entertainment app takes on the global event space

Swiss Photo sharing App SAM wants event guests to connect fast, interact naturally and capture unique moments in a collaborative way. Since its launch in 2018, the app has registered more than 110’000 events and 535’000 users worldwide. Following the current re-branding, the startup seeks to tap into more event segments, boost revenues and expand its geographical footprint.

Event hosts want the best moments of their occasion captured and stored for memories. While photographers are employed to take photos, event guests play a pivotal role in identifying unique moments. Thanks to the evolution of smartphones, anyone can take pictures, including authentic, unfiltered and funny moments. Unfortunately, most of these photos are shared among acquaintances, and often they never reach the host.

The founders of SAM Entertainment AG and its team of six FTEs believe that the funniest moments and best encounters happen spontaneously and are imperfect. Therefore, they developed a photo-sharing app for iOS and Android phones, which instantly allows all guests at social events to share photos and videos from their smartphones live with the event community. Moreover, the app enables guests to interact before, during and after the event, providing features such as icebreakers to facilitate networking. More features such as a matchmaker (which connects people with similar interests) or the futurebox (for guests to upload one surprise photo, which will only be revealed 30 days after the event) are available for in-app purchases. “We are working on a chat function right now, and group challenges will follow soon this year”, says co-founder Ivan Stefania.

Customers of SAM are event hosts who then share the event ID with their guests (users). Since 2018, the app has recorded 535’000 users worldwide with paying customers in over 20 markets. Last year alone, the Zurich-based digital startup supported 15’000 events. The solution has been used in countries like Switzerland and Germany as key markets, accounting for 57 per cent of paying customers. Users from Canada, the US, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and France have also bought some additional features.

Set for growth and expansion
Today, what started as a side business is an independent business ready for growth. The startup became an ‘AG’ in 2020 and raised a seed round with angel investors in Switzerland and the US. “We used the funds mainly to ensure global scalability and growth in existing and new markets.” In 2020 SAM saw a tragic drop in the event space, but in 2021 the company was able to adapt to the new situation and see all time revenue highs, thanks to partnerships. The startup signed advertising deals with companies like Zurich Insurance, SWICA and Migros.

SAM is now ready for further expansion. Building on its early success in the wedding event market, the company has re-branded the platform to include events of all kinds – anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, corporate parties and especially festivals. “We see more companies using the app for their get-togethers and private people for birthdays and anniversaries. This development convinced us to open the platform”, explains Ivan. Additionally, the startup seeks business partners to support its move into the US and Latam markets. For this growth step, the team is building a solid revenue base and will launch the fundraising phase for its series A round next year.