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With the fresh funding, Airmeet aims to scale its virtual events platform globally
Bengaluru-headquartered virtual events platform Airmeet has raised US$12 million in a Series A round of funding, the company announced in a statement yesterday.
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India and Redpoint Ventures. Participating investors included the company’s existing backers Accel India, Venture Highway and Global Founders Capital, in addition to DoorDash executive Gokul Rajaram, the statement said.
Airmeet plans to utilize the funding towards developing its technology, growing its team and expanding to a global user base, it added.
Airmeet was founded in 2019 by Indian Institute of Technology alumni and former CommonFloor executives, Lalit Mangal, Manoj Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Jasti, and is a remote-first company based across six countries.
“Our mission is to make virtual events so effective and engaging that it should appear archaic to organize an on-ground event. We are already seeing an irreversible behavior change among event organizers and an exponential rise in, what we call, ‘digitally native events’,” Co-founder of Airmeet Lalit Mangal said in the statement.
Airmeet is an interactive and immersive virtual events platform that can host a spectrum of events, from professional meetings and conferences to job fairs and film festivals as well. Some of the company’s clients include Microsoft for Startups, the Linux Foundation and Florida International University.
Further, in the last quarter, Airmeet saw organic growth of nearly 2000%, gaining a new customer every hour. Over 10,000 events had been hosted on the platform as of July 2020, and the company aims to hit a milestone of over 1000 events per day in the coming year, the statement also said.
It added that the company’s ‘fluid interface, scalable backend, and intuitive setup’ enables organizers to host events without any prior events experience.
The platform is focused on what the company calls “interaction liquidity” in the virtual space, helping users form connections through social lounges and speed networking lobbies.
“Airmeet’s platform creates engaging digital experiences that emphasize interactivity. From the virtual tables to networking lounges to real-time audience reactions, Airmeet mirrors the community spirit of an in-person event,” Redpoint investor Astasia Myers noted in the statement.
The company had previously raised $3 million in a seed funding round from a consortium of 16 investors. The round was led by Accel India, and saw participation from several individual investors including CEO of Telenor Health Sajid Rahman, Co-founder and CEO of Unacademy Gaurav Munjal, and Co-founder, COO and CTO of Livspace Ramakant Sharma.
Sequoia’s Scout initiative, a seed-stage investment program, also participated in the round. VP at Sequoia Capital India, Abhishek Mohan noted in the statement that the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed a “permanent behavioral shift” across industries.
“With digitization of largely traditional spaces leapfrogging by years, the $800+ billion global offline events space is up for grabs. There is massive potential for players who drive the industry’s transition towards online-events”, Mohan said in the statement.
“Airmeet’s mission is to create a global platform to enable millions of community managers and event organizers across the world to engage with and expand their audience. And with Lalit and team’s focus, execution and innovative thinking, they are strongly placed to achieve their goal,” Mohan added.
While COVID-19 has drastically changed the way people interact and connect, migrating events to an online medium, its effects in the events industry are leaning towards a hybrid event strategy going forward.
A majority of respondents in one study, over 60% in fact, agreed they would employ a virtual events line to their events strategy once restrictions on physical events are lifted.
The study found that while 32% of respondents pivoted their last event to a virtual route, an additional 32% chose to postpone the event instead, while 36% of respondents chose to cancel the event altogether.
The biggest paint point with adopting virtual events, respondents noted, was the inability to match the experience of a live event, followed by the uncertainty of the long-term benefits of investing in virtual events infrastructure and resources.
The overall trend, the study found, was that while 60% of respondents had experiences some success in pivoting their events to the virtual mode, 40% were unsuccessful and needed better tools to execute virtual events.
Header image courtesy of Airmeet