In what The Wall Street Journal calls the largest private investment in a software company since 2007, Cvent, a McLean, Va.–based online event management company, has raised $136 million in funding, only the second time in the young company’s history that it has received an infusion of capital.
Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent, in an interview with MeetingsNet at Meeting Professionals International World Education Conference in Orlando last week, said, “After 10 years of organic growth and profitability, we are thrilled to receive the largest investment in an event technology company ever. It’s not only good for us, but for the entire industry, now that Wall Street has been educated about the meetings and events industry. We could see further investment in other companies and suppliers.”
Cvent, which calls itself the world’s largest software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of online event-management tools, offers three key services: event management and strategic meetings management tools, venue selection through its Supplier Network (which has differentiated itself from competitors for not charging hotels commission on business booked), and Web survey solutions.
Cvent has 800 employees in the U.S. and India and expects to grow to 1,000 in the next year, with at least half of the new hires to be software engineers. “We will use the capital to drive innovation, invest in R&D, enhance our product offerings, and look at acquisitions where it makes sense,” said Aggarwal. Expect to see an evolution of Cvent’sand mobile offerings, he added.
“Our upper management, 11 of whom were on our original team of 12 in 1999, has seen profits for 40 straight quarters, but we still need mentorship. We retain a majority share in our company, but we will learn from some great partners,” said Aggarwal. New Enterprise Associates and Insight Venture Partners led the funding, with Greenspring Associates also participating.
“In a meeting with staff the day of the announcement, I told them it’s ‘business as usual,’” said Aggarwal. “But plan to work faster, harder, and stronger.”
Aggarwal details his company’s turnaround, calling himself the “Indian George Costanza,” referring to when he lived with his parents during the early years of the startup, in a guest blog on Tech Crunch.