The event-technology provider Bizzabo, flush with cash from the $138 million it raised last fall, is acquiring other technology providers to bolster the range of its platform's features. The company announced today the purchase of X.ai, an artificial-intelligence-driven scheduling tool that instantly generates compatible meeting times and then sends follow-up reminders and can handle cancellations.
Today's announcement comes hot on the heels of Bizzabo's acquisition of Whalebone, a Swedish startup that incorporates sensors and deep learning to simulate live-audience characteristics in the virtual setting — such as crowd noise and audience images.
The integration of Whalebone's technology represents an effort to bridge the communications gap between presenters and remote participants in the virtual setting. The software analyzes the audience response based on interaction tools and sentiment within the virtual setting and recreates that sentiment to mimic the sounds and sights of an in-person audience — providing more visceral feedback to the presenter and audience members alike.
The addition of X.ai, meanwhile, brings the practicality of a slick meetings scheduler that will be integrated into Bizzabo's event platform — better automating the process of arranging smaller meetings among participants, whether they are attending an event in person or remotely. The tool also provides recommendations as to whom the attendee should meet, as well as when and how.
“We founded the company based on the mission of bringing people together to create impactful experiences,” said Eran Ben-Shushan, cofounder and CEO of Bizzabo. “In 2021 and beyond, we’re doubling down on creating personalized and immersive event experiences for attendees, speakers, sponsors and organizers.”
Though it was founded in 2014, X.ai experienced a banner year in 2020, growing its user base by 363 percent and enjoying a 182 percent growth in the number of meetings scheduled each month.
Bizzabo intends to incorporate X.ai's technology in the following areas:
- Meeting scheduler: Attendees can program meetings with each other, whether on site or with virtual participants.
- Bizzabo for Exhibitors: The functionality will be added to the exhibitor-facing tools, allowing them to schedule meetings with customers.
- Smart recommendations: The technology adds the functionality of a matchmaking engine to Bizzabo's platform, helping to personalize the event experience with recommendations for both relevant content and participants.
Terms of the sales haven't been disclosed for either acquisition, but Bizzabo is hinting that the buying spree will continue. “We’re excited to continue reimagining what an event platform can do in the post-Covid-19 era,” said Ben-Shushan. “We’re thrilled to bring in the X.ai team as partners and provide their powerful AI-scheduling engine to our customers — and we’re just getting started.”