As we enter a new year, we are producing multiple blogs that give a full 2021 product recap, 2021 RaceDay Recap, Product Roadmap for 2022, our Vision for 2022 and beyond, and this one — which will review 2021 from a business perspective.
2021 was a year of “kind of” returning to normal. Our business recovered more than we anticipated as we entered the year thanks to a faster return to live events, increased market share in endurance, and greater transaction volume for donations and tickets as our GiveSignup efforts. We grew considerably over 2019 while operating on a break even basis as we continued to invest for future growth.
Our key metric is how much revenue we help our customers generate from their events and related fundraising. We will hit $1.5 billion of total transaction volume for our customers in January!
The high-level numbers for the year:
Q4 was very strong in October and November, but weakened considerably in December with the rise of COVID-19 cases driven by Omicron. For example, we had 637,000 registration for turkey trots in 2021 as compared with 156,000 in 2020 and 538,000 in 2019. In December, registrations actually dropped from 355,000 in 2019 to 339,000 in 2021 (although we had strong ticket sales).
We will come out with our 2021 trends report later in January, but here are some early results for overall trends. We saw a pretty steady return to normal for total number of registrations and tickets.
We also saw a trend toward live events, although the virtual business is still about 10% in Q4.
Product Led, Event-Focused Business Strategy
We go into our strategy more in previous blogs, but we continue to be a technology company first, trying to serve our target market customers needs with technology that puts them in control. As documented in our end-of-year “GiveSignup 2021 Development Recap” blog and soon in our “2021 RaceDay Recap,” we made significant advances with over 2,000 releases of our functionality in our platform.
The term for our strategy is “product led,” meaning we focus on creating great products at a great price that our customers love and tell others about. This has produced a virtuous cycle to our business in which we are benefiting from our product. This diagram attempts to explain it:
Our product offering is focused on events and solutions that help event organizers. Today that is mostly in the endurance and nonprofit spaces, but 2022 will expand the marketing of our ticket product into certain commercial markets, like agritourism. This diagram shows how we are able to enter markets more rapidly because of our common core and target solutions for our customers:
With our products, we go deeper into key verticals. Today, that is the endurance and nonprofit event market with solutions like RaceDay features and peer-to-peer event fundraising.
RunSignup and the Endurance Market
2021 saw a very large expansion of our market share in the endurance space. We likely grew from 25% to 30% market share pre-pandemic to 35% to 40% market share in 2021 as we detailed in our market analysis blog in September. We had a number of new customers use our platform for virtual and challenge events in 2020, and they decided to stay with us for their live events.
We are also seeing a continually widening gap in functionality between our platform and other platforms in the market. This comes from the combination of our strong software development capabilities and size advantages enabling us to expand the platform. GiveSignup also gives us additional revenue to make huge investments in offerings like the next-gen email and website capabilities we are developing.
We are also seeing fruits from our investments in RaceDay technology. Our RaceDay Scoring has reached a level of maturity and timers are adopting it. Our continued investment outstrips all of the other older timing technology gives timers comfort that RaceDay Scoring is the future.
GiveSignup and the Nonprofit Market
2021 also saw great progress on nonprofit adoption of our event fundraising solutions. One of the interesting observations is just by introducing the name “GiveSignup” as a brand rather than “RunSignup,” nonprofits are realizing the power of our registration product as an integrated way to meet their peer-to-peer needs. This is seen by the 85% increase in donation transaction revenue our customers were able to generate on our platform.
In addition, our ticket product has been increasingly used as an alternative to Eventbrite because of our nonprofit-specific features that help increase revenue. The ticket product is also being seen as something that can be used in combination with a CRM or donor management system like Salesforce because of the better event specific features.
We are seeing headwinds from COVID-19 for nonprofits that have traditionally used galas as fundraisers. It will be interesting to see how 2022 plays out for return to indoor events. In the meantime, we are helping nonprofits with outdoor events, like golf outings, fishing tournaments, cookouts, and festivals.
Ticket Product for Commercial Customers
For the past two years, we have focused our product development and marketing efforts on the nonprofit space. Our ticket product has reached a significant level of maturity and is ideal for multi-day commercial events, like corn mazes, hay rides, and holiday light shows. So, in 2022, we will be opening the platform up. (We even have a sneak peek at TicketSignup.io.)
2021 was a watershed year for our company. We grew the company over 2019 and were able to operate on a breakeven basis. We will continue to invest in growing our company in the future by creating better and better products on a continual basis by listening to what our customers need and digging deep into specific markets.