Finding a good place to rent for a bachelor party, corporate retreat or casual meetup is no easy task. So many options, so many cruddy spaces, tons of wasted time. But now some ex-Microsofties feel they’ve got the perfect solution.
It’s called PlaceFull, essentially an online marketplace where those seeking cool party spaces or meeting rooms can find a personalized fit for their event. Launching this week in Seattle with more than 400 venues, PlaceFull is the brainchild of co-founder Ryan Hamlin, a former Microsoftie who came up with the idea after growing frustrated trying to find venues for his kids’ activities.
The company was initially backed by Hamlin and former Microsoftie George Webb, though it closed a $500,000 funding round earlier this summer from angel investors in the region. The company is currently raising another $500,000 round.
There certainly are online matchmaking services for all sorts of things, from restaurants (Urbanspoon) to travel (TripAdvisor) to residential real estate (Redfin) to doggie care (Rover.com).
So, why not party and meeting spots?
PlaceFull, like every marketplace, will only work if it can successfully grab the right balance of both landlords and consumers.
It is starting out with decent inventory, including restaurants (private dining rooms at Flying Fish, Benihana, Hector’s, etc.) and family activities (SkyMania Trampolines, Laser Tag Live, etc.). Consumers also can sort by event type categories such as education, weddings, team building and sports.
I’ve been playing with PlaceFull today, and it offers a nice clean and simple to use navigation. One hiccup: I kept stumbling trying to search for capacity of venues, unable to find a way to limit my search to event spaces that can hold more than 200 people. Nonetheless, for an initial launch, it offers a good place to get started when looking for a venue.