Behind the Scenes of the (Hybrid) Skift Global Forum 2021

Behind the Scenes of the (Hybrid) Skift Global Forum 2021

Meet the key people that made it happen and learn all about how Skift worked with SpotMe to deliver its exclusive content live to both in-person and online audiences.

Behind the Scenes of the (Hybrid) Skift Global Forum 2021

Meet the key people that made it happen and learn all about how Skift worked with SpotMe to deliver its exclusive content live to both in-person and online audiences.

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Event Tech Investment Tracker

By Miguel Neves

All you need to know about the most significant investments, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships connected to the event industry. We disclose the companies involved, the numbers, the details, and more importantly, why it matters.

EventMB Investment Outlook

 

All relevant deals are listed below in chronological order with the latest on top. For details on financing terms, refer to our Skift Financing Cheat Sheet

Intrado partners with Interprefy

August 19, 2021

By partnering with Interprefy, Intrado is now able to offer cloud-based remote simultaneous interpretation in up to 26 languages on its Studio platform. The multi-lingual audio content in added in real-time via overlay as audio tracks on video presentations and also comes with the ability to select different interpreted slide presentation formats.


 

Intrado acquires Hubb

August 13, 2021 (financial details not disclosed)

With the acquisition of Hubb, Intrado will be looking to upgrade the functionality and design of its Intrado Studio platform and offer its clients an all-in-one solution for hybrid events.  Intrado says that after the integration is completed, clients will be able to deliver fully converged, omni-channel events. Former Hubb CEO Allie Magyar becomes Intrado's Chief Product Officer.


 

Juno Secures $3.5M in Seed Round Funding

August 11, 2021

Juno is a new player in the virtual event platform space having only been founded in August 2020. The company describes itself as a software company that connects and educates people in virtual environments year-round events platform. The funding comes from Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insights Partners, and Walter Scott of TeamViewer. Juno co-founder and CEO Josh Hotsenpiller says the company will invest the funds in filling the void of "future-generation solutions that allow collaboration, networking and education".


Hopin Raises $450M in Series D Funding

August 5, 2021

Hopin is now valued at an eye-watering $7.75 billion. This round of funding Hopin is co-led by Arena Holdings and Altimeter Capital. Hopin now has a workforce of 800 employees working remotely from 47 countries and boasts more than 100,000 clients using the platform.


 

Cvent acquires Shoflo

August 2, 2021 (financial details not disclosed)

Cvent's acquisition of Shoflo went under the radar even after Showflo Founder & CEO Stephen Bowles shared the news on the Shoflo website. Cvent announced the release of Cvent Studio at its annual Cvent CONNECT® event on August 2. Cvent Studio has been developed based on Shoflo Studio, now fully integrated into Cvent's Event Marketing and Management platform.


Zoom and Cvent

WHAT: Investing in Cvent's SPAC deal

HOW MUCH: 10% of equity

Reported on 21 July, 2021)

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Zoom investing in Cvent could mean deeper collaboration between the two companies with potential product benefits for Cvent users. Zoom is currently agnostic when it comes to integration with virtual event platforms, but this could easily change in the future.


LiveControl Announces Series A financing of $30 million

July 21, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: LiveControl offers a budget-conscious option for live video streaming of events through remotely controlled 4K PTZ cameras.  At a time when all event professionals are looking for cost-effective ways to deliver video-hungry hybrid experiences, this funding announcement could help make LiveControl a viable option for the event industry.


Cvent Going Public via Merger with a Special-Purpose Acquisition Company

20 July, 2021 ($5B valuation, including debt)

A massive valuation of one of the largest event tech (and venue finding) vendors. Cvent went public in a successful IPO in 2013 before going private in 2016 when it was acquired by current owners Vista Equity Partners. Another successful IPO could give Cvent the funds to make significant acquisitions.


Zoom Acquires Five9

July 18, 2021 ($14.7B in all-stock transaction)

The numbers surrounding this acquisition are enormous. This acquisition is expected to help enhance Zoom’s presence with enterprise customers by enabling them to optimize customer interactions across many different channels. Zoom is looking to integrate Five9’s Contact Center as a Service (“CCaaS”) solution to create a complete solution. Find more details on this deal on Skift.


Bevy Acquires Eventtus

July 14, 2021 (financial details not disclosed)

WHY DOES IT MATTER: By acquiring event management software company Eventtus, Bevy is able to offer a solution for hybrid and in-person events to its community-minded clients.  Eventtus' feature-rich mobile app and other engagement tools for attendees will soon be integrated into Bevy's end-to-end white-labeled community event engine. The acquisition also adds 20 engineers from Eventtus team to Bevy, including Egyptian founders Mai Medhat and Nihal Fares, who bring with them 10 years of event technology and experience.


Cadmium Acquires EventRebels

July 9, 2021 (financial details not disclosed)

EventRebels is Cadmium’s fifth investment in its effort to provide an all-in-one event and learning platform solution. This acquisition follows previous acquisitions of CadmiumCD, EthosCE, Warpwire, and CommPartners. EventRebels adds a configurable online and onsite event registration, membership authorization for conference and trade show attendees, and lead retrieval to the Cadmium platform.


mmhmm Announces $100M in Series A Financing 

July 7, 2021

While some ridicule the company's name, Evernote ex-CEO Phil Libin has been able to attract impressive financial backing from big-name investors. Leading this $100M round is SoftBank Vision Fund, making $136M the total raised by mmhmm over the last year. The company is hiring rapidly and globally but the most interesting shift is the development of iOS and Android apps. This development suggests a shift from being a virtual camera tool that integrates into other video conferencing tools to a standalone video communication platform.


Hopin Acquires Attendify

July 7, 2021 (financial details not disclosed)

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Hopin continues its acquisition spree, now adding integrated event marketing platform Attendify to its already significant list of acquisitions, this is the fifth this year alone. According to Hopin, this purchase is all about enhancing and expanding its event marketing suite as it strives to become the industry's leading all-in-one platform. Hopin is particularly focused on implementing two features from Attendify: Audience CRM, a comprehensive, attendee data platform used to capture engagement, identify intent signals and use event data to drive growth; and Campaign Manager, a powerful email engine to drive registrations and engage audiences between programs.


 

OnePlan

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH: $3.8M

WHEN: June 30, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Investors from the U.S. and UK are backing the two-year-old startup. The technology is focused solely on creating in-person events, a departure from the majority of recent event tech investments. The tool offers hyper-realistic and interactive 3D solutions used for collaborative real-time event design and production.


Intrado Digital Media and Encore

WHAT: Strategic partnership

HOW MUCH: -

WHEN: June 29, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Following the earlier announcement of Cvent's partnership with Encore, Intrado Digital Media announced a similar strategic partnership. It's clear that Encore is looking to partner with major players in event technology in the corporate event sector. The promoted upside to customers is the ability to "deliver enterprise-grade, fully integrated events".


MeetingPlay

WHAT: Private equity financing

HOW MUCH: $75M

WHEN: June 17, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: MeetingPlay raised $75 million from growth-oriented private equity firm Sunstone Partners. The investment is being used to support a white-label approach that essentially makes MeetingPlay invisible to attendees. Sunstone will be taking an active role in growing the company that has a focus on the corporate events market.


 

Twine

WHAT: Venture financing

HOW MUCH: $3.3M

WHEN: June 17, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Twine announced the new round of venture funding along with new hires for key roles and a number of significant product updates. The system continues to be platform-agnostic and now has the capability to host up to five people in a networking room, a departure from the one-to-one nature of the product.


 

CLIPr

WHAT: Private investment from Poly

HOW MUCH: $4M

WHEN: June 15, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Poly, a company with 50+ years of experience in making office-focused audio and video hardware, has invested in CLIPr, a video analysis and management (VAM) platform using AI and machine learning to index video content. It would appear that Poly sees CLIPr’s potential to help people save time and reduce video fatigue. Poly will initially utilize the platform internally as it explores further strategic opportunities.


 

Cvent and Encore

WHAT: Strategic partnership

HOW MUCH: -

WHEN: June 15, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Tech Giant Cvent is partnering with AV and event production specialist Encore to bridge the online and onsite production needs. As things return to relative normalcy and in-person events begin to fill supplier sales pipelines, this partnership is trying to redefine the term ‘end-to-end’.


 

Brella

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH:  $10M

WHEN: June 10, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Brella was able to pivot its intent-driven intelligent matchmaking system to a virtual event platform in 2020. Despite 4x growth in 2020, it opted to take on additional funding in order to build further capabilities. Brella is keen to stay away from offering long lists of features to instead focus on its unique selling proposition as a networking-focused hybrid event platform.


 

Bizzabo

WHAT: Acquisition of x.ai and Whalebone

HOW MUCH: Undisclosed

WHEN: June 3 and May 24, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Bizzabo made two fascinating acquisitions that add somewhat unusual capabilities to its end-to-end offering. The May acquisition of Whalebone Crowd technology focused on humanizing digital interactions through both crowd amplification and crowd visualization. The June acquisition of x.ai adds powerful AI scheduling & matchmaking capabilities. This points to a thoughtful set of meeting scheduling features that will be appreciated by participants, particularly if Bizzabo can crack the algorithms for smart networking recommendations.


 

Interactio

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH: $30M

WHEN: May 25, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Interactio’s investment came shortly after Kudo raised $21 million in April, both companies offering remote simultaneous interpretation. Despite advances in automated captioning and AI-powered real-time translation, there appears to be strong demand for more accurate human interpretation from high-profile organizations such as the United Nations and the European Parliament. Also noteworthy is that Interactio is headquartered in Lithuania and this is considered to be the largest ever Series A round of funding in the Baltics.


 

Fireflies.ai

WHAT: Series B financing

HOW MUCH: $14M

WHEN: May 24, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Fireflies’ AI meetings assistant promises to record, transcribe, and search across your voice conversations. With this investment, Fireflies is looking to automate the work that happens post meetings. With the future of work certain to include online video interaction, Fireflies has the potential to improve the way we work. The same techniques could have a significant impact on how we collect and manage information from virtual events.


 

Pitch

WHAT: Series B financing

HOW MUCH: $85M

WHEN: May 20, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: With this investment, Pitch is looking to become the world’s first complete platform for presentations. The company offers a full solution focused on pitch decks starting with sleek designs and powerful analytics features. Pitch’s features are a good fit for many types of events, although it does not seem that the event industry is on the company’s radar just yet.


 

Cisco

WHAT: Acquisition of Socio Labs

HOW MUCH: Undisclosed

WHEN: May 12, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: After acquiring Q&A and polling platform Slido, Cisco announced the intent to acquire Socio Labs. The strategy is clear, the company is looking to offer a robust technology stack built around its recently relaunched Webex video conferencing tool that can seamlessly power virtual, hybrid, and in-person events.


 

Mighty Networks

WHAT: Series B financing

HOW MUCH: $50M

WHEN: April 25, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Might Networks is one of the leaders in the community platforms space. Although not directly involved in events, events are a part of its focus on the creator economy. It is using this investment to attract established creators to thrive on its platform and events are a big part of that.


 

Kudo

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH: $21M

WHEN: March 31, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: KUDO describes itself as a cloud-based video conferencing platform with real-time multilingual interpretation. It sees a bright future in what it calls Language-as-a-Service (LaaS) product, and so do its investors. After previously raising $6 million in seed funding in July 2020, its most recent investment round was oversubscribed. The company intended to raise $15 million but ended up raising $21 million, which it is looking to invest in talent acquisition. The interest from investors suggests that they see great potential for this type of offering in a post-pandemic future.


 

Cameo

WHAT: Series C financing

HOW MUCH: $100M

WHEN: March 30, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Cameo for Business is the B2B version of the company’s promise:  “personalized videos feat. your favorite stars”. Hubilo used the service to have actor David Koechner provide guidance on how to pronounce the company’s name while promoting its recent Restart 2021 virtual event. The company has made this part of the business one of its key focus points and shared that Cameo for Business is a multimillion-dollar business growing at a rate of 900% year on year.


 

Bevy

WHAT: Series C financing

HOW MUCH: $40M

WHEN: March 24, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Bevy prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion in this round of funding with a 70 percent Black investor pool. Co-founder of Black in Events Keneisha Williams highlights that this initiative leads the way for organizational success and inclusive solutions and explored this in more detail here.


 

Hopin

WHAT: Series C financing

HOW MUCH: $400M at a $5.65 B valuation

WHEN: March 4, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Potentially the fastest growing startup of the pandemic raised the largest-ever round of funding and valuation in event tech. Hopin has since used the funds to acquire Boomset, a platform focused on onsite functionality and solutions. The platform had previously acquired mobile app Topi and video streaming platform StreamYard. It also went on to make further acquisitions in the video innovation space in the form of Streamable and Jamm. More recently Hopin received an investment of $50 million from LinkedIn that signaled the start of what could be a very interesting and unique strategic partnership.


 

Kaltura

WHAT: IPO filing, then put on hold, then filed again

HOW MUCH: (IPO)

WHEN: March 2, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Kaltura, Inc., “the video experience cloud”, announced on March 2 that it had publicly filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq. It later put the IPO on hold as the demand was lower than expected, prompting TechCrunch to question if the window for tech IPOs is closing. In this article, Devoncroft Partners analyses the IPO filing in great detail and raises some concerning issues over the language used and valuation target. Kaltura appears to have since filed for an IPO again but has made no further announcements.


 

Hubilo

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH: $23.5M

WHEN: February 23, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Hubilo shared publicly the story of its near demise in 2020 and reinvention as a virtual events platform. The company has also invested heavily in its own virtual events and overall marketing. The company was founded in Ahmedabad, India, in 2015 and is now headquartered in the U.S., and this investment represents a victory for the Indian startup ecosystem.


 

Grip

WHAT: Series A financing

HOW MUCH: $13M

WHEN: February 18, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Grip's funding announcement centered around the concept of being the first market engagement platform. Its focus is on helping organizers find new and better ways to generate revenue from their events, be they virtual, hybrid, or in-person. It plans to do this by creating ways for organizers to monetize events through access, exposure, and contact.


 

InEvent

WHAT: Seed capital

HOW MUCH: $2M

WHEN: February 8, 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: A small round of funding when compared to others. Nevertheless, InEvent’s Brazilian-born founders are focused on conquering the B2B market by offering best-in-class customization and support.


 

Swapcard

WHAT: Acquisition of Avolio

HOW MUCH: Undisclosed

WHEN: January 14 2021

WHY DOES IT MATTER: Following a close collaboration between the two companies since the start of the pandemic, Swapcard’s acquisition of registration platform Avolio meant that it can now offer a complete end-to-end solution for its clients. This is a strategic move to deliver on the promise of becoming a single technology for virtual, hybrid, and face-to-face events.


Skift Financing Cheat Sheet

  • Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
  • Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup's founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
  • Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
  • Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
  • Series D, E and beyond apply mainly to mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.

about the author

Miguel Neves
Miguel is EventMB’s Editor-in-Chief and likes to describe himself as a, "curious creator and caring curator of computerized content and a conscious connector of charismatic characters". He lives and breathes the event tech sector and is deeply engaged in the global online community of event professionals. Miguel is a Portuguese soul who built a career in the UK and is now raising a young family in southern Denmark.
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