Croatian ticketing operator Entrio has welcomed an investment boost as it targets international expansion as a leading platform for hybrid events.

Venture capital fund Fil Rouge Capital (FRC) has invested 3.8 million kuna ($609,000/€500,000) in the business, which has established a successful virtual and hybrid events offering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entrio, which is based in Zagreb and also operates in Slovenia, has a network of 300 partners and sells tickets for more than 1,000 events on average annually.

It said it will invest new funds in accelerating the development of its platform and recruitment in a bid to successfully enter new markets.

“I would like to thank Fil Rouge Capital for recognising our quality, providing us with great support and enabling strong growth in the coming period,” Berislav Marszalek, founder and director of Entria, told tech publication Netokracija. “Physical events will come back, of course, but virtual and hybrid formats bring incredible new business opportunities that will forever change the global event industry.

“I am proud and happy that in these extremely difficult times we have managed to set new trends in the event industry and present a quality solution to the market to continue the realisation of concerts, performances, conferences and other events in a virtual format.”

Entrio has organised more than 100 significant virtual events in Croatia and Slovenia in the past few months and sold more than 25,000 virtual tickets. Its major successes of late include a hybrid concert featuring veteran Croatian star Massimo and a performance from popular Slovenian singer Magnifico that attracted tens of thousands of people.

“Berislav and Entrio have been active in Croatia and the region for the last few years,” said Stevica Kuharski from Fil Rouge Capital.

“With a proven business model and the use of opportunities in the last year, they managed to impose themselves as a stable partner to event organisers, which ultimately resulted in our investment.”