Cvent returns to Nasdaq after digital makeover

Cvent returns to Nasdaq after digital makeover

Cvent Holding Corp. began trading on Nasdaq on Thursday after a digital makeover aimed at retooling the 22 year old event management software company for the age of video conferences and virtual meetings.

The move comes five years after the former public company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $1.65 billion and taken private. In July, Cvent agreed to merged with Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II, a special-purpose acquisition company, returning to the public market with a valuation of roughly $5.3 billion. Early investors include Fidelity Management and Research Co., Hedosophia, Oaktree Capital Management and Zoom Video Communications, the company said.

Cvent, a company in Tysons Corner, Va, has more than 21,000 customers worldwide and about 4,000 employees, according to the company. It focused on providing cloud-based software designed to help organizers manage live events such as venue selection, registration and onsite check in, among other tools.

Like many companies, the onset of Covid 19 forced Cvent to pivot online and re-tailor its technology to serve a fast-growing virtual market.

David Quattrone, Cvent's co-founder and chief technology officer, said our product strategy changed. Prior to the epidemic, more than 95% of the company's revenue was focused on in-person events. When the Pandemic hit in 2020, the entire world shifted to virtual, he said. In order to add additional tools and functionality, the company started a full reconstruction of its platform.

Cvent was early adopters of a software as a service, subscription-based model in which software is delivered to users online or in the cloud.

Adam Preset, a research vice president at Gartner Inc., said that the pandemic was a shocking wake-up call for organizations and vendors focused only on in-person events.

He said that the swift transition was jarring for tech firms that already offered a mix of face-to- face and virtual events. The demand for virtual events was high, which meant that some providers were turning their businesses away because their pipelines were full in the panic and rush to virtual, he said.

The market analyst Grand View Research said that sales in the global virtual-events market, which hit $94 billion in 2020, are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.7% over the next seven years.

Cvent last month reported $134.1 million in total revenue for the quarter ended September 30, an increase of 13.1% from the same period a year earlier. Revenue from Event Cloud, its main software platform, was up 27.2% to $92.5 million, the company said.

The pandemic accelerated trends that we were already seeing and planning for with our pipeline of investments and redesigns, according to Quattrone, a tech perspective. It was a complete pivot from the in-person focus we had been used to for more than two decades. He believes that the market will continue to evolve over the next few years. If 2020 and 2021 were all about virtual reality, 2022 will be all about hybrid or a combination of in-person and virtual experiences, he said. We will be there no matter how the industry decides to meet in the future.