Surreal, a global live entertainment operating system for the hospitality industry, is launching in the UK with a strategic partnership with the NTIA and a strong base of first clients. Founded in Australia, Surreal facilitates over 48,000 events annually (including in the UK) and pays £12M to entertainers annually through its proprietary software platform. Surreal's mission is to make going to live experiences as important as eating, drinking and exercise. The team of 18, like everyone else, experienced a world without live experiences during the pandemic. That deprivation motivated them to build a platform that makes organizing sustainable and profitable live entertainment as easy as possible.
Surreal has raised over AUD 5.5M from VCs and strategic investors, including Rampersand, Investible, Alberts Impact Capital (The family office behind AC/DC), Unified Music Group, Untitled Group and the founders of Linktree. They are currently expanding globally in preparation for their Series A raise. Surreal has added to its existing UK-based sales and operations team as part of its expansion plans.
Surreal has partnered with the Night Time Industry Association to help grow the amount of live entertainment in the UK. The partnership centers around helping both venues and artists discover each other and manage their live entertainment in a more streamlined manner. Through Surreal, both venues and artists have a platform to grow their businesses through live entertainment. This growth is critical to the sustainability of the live entertainment industry.
According to Statista, the UK live entertainment industry generates GBP 1.1bn annually to the UK economy with an audience size of 29.8m. Surreal, however, believes there is a much richer cultural engagement and enrichment contribution. The Surreal platform is, therefore, not solely about live music but all live entertainment be it comedy, quiz nights, plays and performances across every town and city in the UK.
"We're very excited to work with some of the industry's leading operators. The hospitality industry understands how technology can unlock growth," said Jeremiah Siemianow, CEO and co-founder of Surreal. "However, not many businesses have traditionally thought about how their entertainment, arguably one of the biggest footfall drivers, can be automated, leveraged and maximised via technology. The UK has one of the richest and most diverse live entertainment sectors. We want to make collaborating easier for artists, venues, agents and everyone in the ecosystem. Our customers understand the value of live entertainment for their venues and communities. Surreal allows them to leverage technology to take their entertainment to the next level.
Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, adds: "We have continued to champion new talent and the important role that businesses play in creating a platform for new talent to refine their craft. Our partnership with Surreal is the first step in supporting new music and talent coming into our industry by creating a seamless technology platform which has been hugely successful overseas and will similarly support UK-wide talent to bridge the talent pipeline gaps generated by the recent crises."
Surreal has been working with existing UK operators for the last twelve months. Clients who are benefiting from Surreal's technology include Metropolitan Pub Company, Eclectic Clubs and Bars, Dirty Bones, East London Pub Company, Vauxhall Comedy Club and Boxpark.
Ben McLauglin, COO of Boxpark, said, "We're excited to be partnering with Surreal across our BOXPARK and BOXHALL estate to bring all of our entertainment scheduling and invoicing into one place. The flexibility and simplicity of Surreal add another level to our business, allowing our team greater visibility of bookings and a streamlining of our payment processes ensuring more robust programming and saving valuable time for both the events teams and the artists. Our business is rapidly expanding, and Surreal will allow us to scale easily, ensuring our talent pool grows with us."
Built by a world-class team consisting of Facebook, Eventbrite, Etsy and DICE alums, Surreal is an entertainment booking system built for speed and optimisation. On average, it saves general managers 338 hours a year.
Surreal's central platform improves cross-team collaboration, automates daily tasks across operations, marketing and finance and collates entertainment data to integrate into your tech stack. From comedy to quizzes to live music and everything in between, Surreal is an all-encompassing entertainment booking and management platform that allows venues to create better experiences. Surreal also has a unique approach to others in the market - it works alongside agents rather than replacing them.
Jeremiah summarises: "Our system is built for collaboration to achieve the best outcome and return on entertainment for the venues and entertainers."