Still focused on venues and events, former Ungerboeck charts new course

Changing one of the best-known names in the venues industry is no small matter, so the new one had to be a good fit for the folks running the former Ungerboeck.

Momentus Technologies is the result of a fairly rapid transformation from a family-owned and run event management software company, although one with global reach, into one owned by private equity with expanded offerings as a result of key acquisitions.

Still, sports and entertainment venues and events remain the focus.

In 2021, Ungerboeck was acquired by Cove Hill Partners, then merged with EventBooking, a similar company run by current Momentus Chief Innovation Officer Steve Mackenzie.

Other acquisitions followed that year, including ShoWorks, which brought the company penetration into the fairs market, and Priava, which brought greater presence in Australia, New Zealand, India and the U.K. In 2022, Ungerboeck acquired the risk management tools of Reliance Risk, further expanding the company’s portfolio of offerings as it shifted further to a software as a service focus amid a revamping the executive suite.

Out was former CEO Manish Chandak, who departed in August, and in was new CEO Alex Alexandrov, who came from the software industry and whose hiring was announced in November. Other key team members include Chief Marketing Officer Laurie McGraoth and Evelyn Ingram, who rejoined the company as sales director, enterprise.

 There are still a few Ungerboeck family who hold prominent roles, including significant equity stakes in the company, but with the passing of company co-founder Dieter Ungerboeck in August of 2022, it’s fair to say the torch has been passed, momentously.

Alexandrov and McGrath met with VenuesNow’s James Zoltak recently to discuss where the company goes from here.

VN: In short order, Ungerboeck went from being a family-owned operation to one backed by private equity, with a number of acquisitions made, and now a rebranding. What is the vision for the future of this company and will venues and events always be at the fore?

ALEX ALEXANDROV: It’s a phenomenal platform that’s been built over many years, so we’re excited to take it to its next phase of growth, which has been made possible through the transition of ownership and the Cove Hill investment coming in. That’s why you are seeing these new investments and new faces around the table. I would say the vision is very much to build on the success of what the organization has been in the past, and that has been to enable these unbelievable customers around the world —the coolest venues, convention centers, performing arts centers, sports arenas, whatever it is. Momentus is helping them get more in through the front door, maximize the revenue and helping them figure what is required to run the event and help with financial reporting aspects. That is very much still at the core of what we want to do.

VN: I imagine the acquisitions expand the market for Momentus solutions?

AA: Exactly. The original Ungerboeck software was for complex venues and very specific use cases. The acquisition of platforms like VenueOps and Priava are much more opinionated, easy to install and quick and easy to evaluate. The software is in some ways like the Apple ecosystem. You open the box and it’s easy to use. It’s well suited to mid-sized clients, with more limited complexity.

LAURIE MCGRATH: Going through a rebranding like this is an incredible opportunity for an organization to take stock of what’s happening competitively in the landscape and what are some of the things that are found within your product offering and your people that may not be crystal clear to the industry.  The rebranding was a perfect time to take all of that information in and to bring clarity under one umbrella; that it’s not so much the pieces and parts of the products, but it’s really that we’re all coming together in the way that we deliver value in a very consistent manner using the same sort of approach to the industry and to our customers.

VN: Who do you consider your most formidable competitors in this space and how do you differentiate yourself from them?

AA: It’s a good question and probably not as straightforward an answer, but we bump up against many different players depending on the vertical where we play. In corporate and higher education, we’re often displacing systems that the customers have customized, they’ve created on their own. They take an existing system and they’re trying to make it work and then as this becomes more of a priority for them, they say, I kind of want to do this in a professional way and what’s the best software that that can help me do that? Where we’ve built our success — convention centers, performing arts, stadiums, arenas — we consolidated the space quite a bit. There are certainly competitors, but I would say we don’t have one consistent one. We bump up against small companies and it’s probably even geography specific.

VN: Can a promoter or venue operator have a good idea in advance if a booking makes sense both from a projected sales standpoint as well as logistically and taking other factors that need to be taken into account?

AA: Yes. We have some historical data and we do access artist data. Some of that information we pull into our software, but I think the real deep data capabilities on that are still to come.

VN: Is artificial intelligence going to play a greater role in event management going forward?

AA: In automation and workflows you will see technology help customers reduce steps in their processes.

VN: How has the company grown in terms of numbers of employees from before the wholesale changes in the company?

AA: Today, we’re between 450 and 500. We’re a global organization. We’ve grown very nicely organically and through acquisition. It’s double, maybe triple from four years ago. We are still recruiting, still hiring folks in all parts of our business. We have a nice, defensible and growing business.

VN: How much does the Ungerboeck legacy mean to the future of Momentous?

AA: The partnership with the family is super important. They built the platform. Three of the brothers are involved and they are a wealth of knowledge. As far as founding families go, this is as good as I’ve seen.

Editor’s Note: A longer version of this Q&A is available in the April print edition of VenuesNow (subscription required).