Edinburgh arts tech company acquired by global event marketing company


Edinburgh-based technology company crowdEngage has been acquired by live entertainment marketing platform Activity Stream for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction, which was backed by Thorntons Solicitors, was part of a strategic expansion of Activity Stream’s cloud-based solutions, which help power entertainment venues and businesses.

Founded almost five years ago by Hugh Topping, who is also a director of the family business, Topping & Company Booksellers, crowdEngage was created to help performance venues deliver an improved customer experience by providing messages to audiences, mobile ticketing and seamless food and drink ordering.

Hugh becomes Vice President of Product Development at Activity Stream following the deal.

He said, “We designed crowdEngage to be the missing link in live entertainment, picking up where ticketing systems leave off and eliminating friction to ensure viewers have a great night out while allowing venues to streamline their operations.

“By joining Activity Stream, we can now leverage hundreds of data points to personalize communications and drive both customer satisfaction and new revenue opportunities.”

Hugh Topping, who is also a director of the family business, Topping & Company Booksellers

Hugh’s introduction to ticketing came through the family business when he was looking to secure ticketing software for events at their bookstores. Later, as an undergraduate at the University of Aberdeen, he completed an internship with a ticketing company, before going to work full-time in the same company when he graduated.

After several years, he set out to realize his ambition to use technology to improve the experience of attending live events, with crowdEngage reducing queues at venues and allowing visitors to focus on the performance.

Alistair Lang, Corporate and Commercial Partner at Thorntons, said: “CrowdEngage is a great company that improves events both for the people who attend and, importantly, for the industry, allowing them to market their services more effectively. It’s also proof of the power of innovation that fuels Scotland’s fast-growing tech sector.

“Edinburgh and Glasgow are now among the UK’s top tech destinations and we are seeing continued interest from international investors in the fantastic companies we produce.”

In addition to acquiring crowdEngage, Activity Stream also acquired arts and culture planning solutions company Yesplan, enabling the cloud-based platform to service all stages of the event lifecycle. Its tools are used by 450 organizations worldwide and support some of the largest live events in the world.

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