Startup Grind Auckland welcomes Ezel Kokcu. The 25 year old serial entrepreneur is on to her third startup ‘Passphere’; An analytics registration platform for expos, conferences and large scale events. Ezel also co-founded STQRY; an exploration app for museums and cultural sites. She grew STQRY to over 50 people, raised over $7 million in VC funding, and over 800 customers on the books before selling the company in 2016.
Ezel is a seasoned mentor who won the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Star regional award in 2015. Recently she was a finalist in the Westpac Woman of Influence Awards in 2017 and the Ministers International Leadership award in 2016. Passphere builds upon her previous two startups STQRY & Non Stop Tix which were both sold in the last 2 years.
Some topics we'll be discussing: innovating in the event industry and GLAM sector, raising capital, scaling businesses, and Ezel's journey.
Continuing her journey, Ezel has now Co-Founded the event and analytics platform. Passphere, recently announced it has raised an official seed round of capital to fund their New Zealand, United States and Australia expansion. Funding was led by New Zealand based individuals who have experience in cloud-based ticketing and IT space.
Ezel has a passion for entrepreneurship that was formed at a young age. Ezel spent 3 months travelling around Turkey teaching English in schools for underprivileged children. She then returned to New Zealand to begin working on a degree in Computer Science at Victoria University. While studying, Ezel was involved in a start-up doing social and digital marketing that sparked a passion in starting and growing businesses. Shortly after, starting the discovery and exploration app that disrupted the Museum and Cultural market, STQRY. As Co-Founder of STQRY, Ezel’s ideas and narratives help to guide and shape the business every day.
STQRY is now known as Area360 and is shaping the way visitors and organizations engage and share stories on a daily basis. With capital backing from one of the most reputable Venture Capital firms in the United States, Area360 were able to raise $5.5M in funds and are now developing and selling in over 4 countries to over 500 organizations worldwide. The team in New Zealand has grown to 35 and another 7 in the United States.
Ezel then decided to move full time into her next venture as Co-Founder of Wellington-based Ticketing startup, Non-Stop Tix. After 18 months of operation, the company was sold to a New Zealand-based private investor.