The virtual-events platform Hubilo, founded in Bengaluru, India, and now headquartered out of San Francisco, has raised $125 million in Series B funding to further develop its technology. The latest round, led by Alkeon Capital along with Lightspeed Venture Partners and Balderton Capital, brings the company's total funding to $153 million — and demonstrates continued investor enthusiasm for the white-hot event-tech sector.
Hubilo, like many young event-tech companies, shifted priorities quickly in 2020. The team reworked its technology in 26 days when the pandemic shutdown hit, and since then has provided a digital platform for the likes of Walmart, the United Nations, Roche Pharma, AB InBev and more than 800 other clients. Now, as investors and event professionals widely anticipate a long-term transition to a hybrid approach to events, Hubilo and its competitors are attempting to ease the transition.
“The power to engage with massive audiences unlocks the potential of new diverse, geographically dispersed communities to exist, remote workforces to stay engaged, and organizations to rethink the way they hire and train. The potential ahead of us with this investment is massive,” said Vaibhav Jain, the company's cofounder and CEO.
According to Hubilo, more than a quarter of the platfrom's first-time users switch to an annual subscription model after hosting their first event. Hubilo's workforce has grown tenfold over the last 18 months.
Its staying power will depend on far more than the tech itself, Jain added. “What we’ve learned over the last six years is that an intuitive platform is just table stakes. Our commitment to event organizers is that we will always provide a dedicated event team to ensure flawless execution of every event," said Jain.
The team at Hubilo believes that over the past couple of years, 15 to 20 percent of enterprise events' budgets have moved permanently to digital events. Investors are hungry to get in on the action: Event-tech newsmaker Hopin has raised more than $1 billion, following a Series D round of $450 million in August; Bizzabo has received nearly $195 million in funding following a $138 million round in December 2020; Bevy has attracted $60 million over three rounds; MeetingPlay scored $75 million in June; and Cvent intends to go public again in the fourth quarter, in a deal that could raise $801 million.
“We believe strongly that the global distributed workforce is a megatrend that will impact all of us in the future," said Abhi Arun, managing partner at Hubilo investor Alkeon Capital. "It is clear that the way we collaborate and connect will need to be rearchitected in order for any global player to succeed.”