Bizzabo will raise $ 138 million as the events industry becomes hybrid

Bizzabo will raise $ 138 million as the events industry becomes hybrid

Bizzabo, a platform that helps businesses run hybrid online and offline events, has raised $ 138 million in a Series E funding round led by New York-based VC firm Insight Partners.

The increase will come when the COVID-19 crisis leaves a likely indelible mark Trillion Dollar Events and Conference Many companies are preparing to keep the digital element of their events that they had to adopt in 2020 and to work with new hybrid models in a post-pandemic world. Web Summit, one of the largest technology conferences in Europe, recently confirmed The company had already booked the venue for its stationary return next year to receive 70,000 personal attendees and up to 80,000 online via a platform it had developed itself. The Reuters news agency also confirmed this Adoption of a hybrid event model Next year, local networking meetups will be combined with online incarnations after some successes with rapprochement during the pandemic.

Bizzabo, headquartered in New York, was founded in 2011 in its original form was a technology platform provider for physical events targeting organizers with a set of tools via the cloud, e.g. B. Registration and ticketing, marketing, website creation, agenda management, networking, post-event surveys and more. As with many companies in 2020, Bizzabo was forced to make a transition during the pandemic as social distancing decimated the demand for face-to-face interactions, and it did so quickly launched a new platform for virtual events in partnership with Kaltura in March.

"We began seeing in-person events impact from mid-February through March when some of our larger customers canceled in-person events," Eran Ben-Shushan, CEO and co-founder of Bizzabo, told VentureBeat. "From then on, many others were forced to do the same, and we knew we had to act quickly and offer virtual solutions to our customers."

In less than three weeks, Bizzabo launched its first virtual incarnation. By the end of the second quarter in June, the company had its strongest quarter ever.

Above: Bizzabo goes virtual

Virtual wave

A number of young startups for virtual events gained significantly in importance in 2020. Hopin from London recently started operations raised $ 125 million at an amazing valuation of $ 2.1 billion, just over a year after its inception, it grew from eight employees and 5,000 users to 200 employees and 3.5 million users during the eight-month pandemic. Elsewhere, Mountain View, California Rule the world started two funding rounds this year, including a $ 10.8 million Series A round in the middle of the global blockade while India Airmeet closed his Seed round followed by one in March $ 12 million Series A round shortly thereafter.

While all of these companies happened to be positioned after launching as online-only event platforms, others faced do-or-die-pivot decisions. Similar to Bizzabo, Hubilo was an established event startup that switched its entire business model from stationary to virtual events within just 20 days went on to snap up some notable investors. And another young startup called Welcome had to switch to virtual events quickly Having just completed a Y Combinator program as a restaurant software startup, he raised $ 12 million from well-known investors like Kleiner Perkins.

For its part, Bizzabo could be in a strong position to benefit from the warm embrace of hybrid events as the world slowly returns to normal for the next year and beyond. The company has a long history in the events space spanning a number of high profile companies such as Inbound, Gainsight and Drift in the corporate space, and claims Uber and Rakuten are customers. Any company looking to host a truly hybrid event may be more inclined to use a single platform that provides the tools for both online and offline events.

"Our hybrid readiness and the fact that we serve some of the largest companies in the world make us a great partner for years to come," added Ben-Shushan.

Previously, Bizzabo raised nearly $ 57 million, and with a new $ 138 million in the bank, the company plans to expand its capabilities that bring the best of virtual and in-person events together while triple the tech, product teams and experience will open two new offices in Europe in early 2021.

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