Creators of a brand-new digital events platform are calling on investors to help them challenge sector giants, including the likes of Zoom and Hopin.
The team at Haia has developed a product designed to be friendlier and more accessible than its largest competitors – one which they believe can rise to the challenge of meeting increased expectations for online and hybrid events.
It offers real time text and voice translation, facilitates hybrid events and has built-in accessibility features – USPs the developers say will make it stand out from rivals in the market. Now ready to launch, Haia needs around £1.5million to take it to the next level.
Tom Burke is one of the founders of the new platform. He explains: “This is an opportunity to invest in a market which has an estimated growth of $269 billion over the next five years. We’re looking for investors who share our vision for inclusive, usable technology that improves people’s experiences of online events and changes communication for the better. With the size of the potential market and our great USPs we are confident that Haia will return a healthy profit, so we’re asking investors to join us on our adventure.
“In early trials Haia has already proved to be a game changer for web-based and hybrid events. It allows users to create events which connect people in ways they just can’t do anywhere else. There is a real emphasis on ease of use, accessibility and multilingual use, making Haia unique. No one should be left out of events because the platform they’re using isn’t designed with their needs in mind.”
Pryderi ap Rhisiart is Managing Director of Wales’ first science park, M-SParc, and a partner in the venture, he said: “We’ve been forced to think differently about how we interact. We realise online meeting platforms have been around for a while, but the last year has shown us we need more and we need to include everybody.
“This is exactly what Haia aims to do – taking what we’ve learnt from 18 months of remote networking and socialising and adding the human touch. Haia is responding to the demand not only for online events, but for hybrid events post-covid. When the pandemic is behind us, we’ll want to hold on to some of the genuine benefits that have emerged. These include the ability to work and attend events in an online environment for convenience and environmental reasons – but also for many, for accessibility reasons. We want to make events fun and engaging once more.”
Confidence in Haia is riding high. It has already attracted a total of around £470k from an Innovate UK fund, private equity and early sign-ups. It has also been shortlisted as a Rising Star in the Wales Start-up Awards.
photo caption: (l-r) Lois Ahaw, Andy Esser, Tom Burke, Anna Burke and Pryderi ap Rhisiart – the Haia Team