Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Airmeet raises $12 mn led by Sequoia Capital, to accelerate global expansion

NEW DELHI: Virtual events platform Airmeet has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by new investors Sequoia Capital India and Redpoint Ventures. Existing investors Accel India, Venture Highway and Global Founders Capital (GFC) also participated.

The funds will be used to accelerate technology development, grow the remote-only 60-member team across six countries to 100 and expand Airmeet’s customer base globally, the startup said.

The year-old startup was founded by three IIT alumni, friends and entrepreneurs Lalit Mangal, Manoj Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Jasti with the intent of building a remote company.

With brands and businesses going online due to the covid-19 pandemic, largely traditional spaces such as events also saw rapid digitisation that benefited companies like Airmeet, which saw a huge spike in virtual events.

More than 10,000 events globally have been hosted on the platform in the last six months, with 20-25% growth month-on-month. These include internship fairs, hackathons, women in cloud brunches, and a 100-day blockchain hackathon followed by an award ceremony.

"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", said Abhishek Mohan, vice-president, Sequoia Capital India LLP.

While meetings, webinar categories existed with more popular alternatives like Zoom and Skype, Mangal said platforms such as Airmeet have not been conceptualised for peer-to-peer interactions.

Airmeet does not require an event organiser to have a subscription. The organiser can go to the platform, create an account and organise an event through a simple product flow.

The startup conducts events virtually where the physical experience of a conference could be replicated with features such as a virtual stage, ballroom-style social lounge with freely accessible virtual tables, a backstage, running a quick poll, passing a virtual mike, asking questions and a speed networking lobby for participants.

"Our mission is to make virtual events so effective and engaging that it should appear archaic to organise an on-ground event. We are already seeing an irreversible behaviour change among event organizers and an exponential rise in, what we call, 'digitally native events," Airmeet's Mangal said.

Professional communities like Microsoft for Startups, Linux Foundation and Florida International University have hosted their events on Airmeet with a maximum of 10,000 participants.

Airmeet can host up to 16 speakers in one session and can support up to 10,000 participants simultaneously.

“We we are working on scaling this up to 1 million concurrent participants per event," added Mangal.

Mangal, however, said the pandemic alone is not responsible for the exponential growth of Airmeet. Many niche interest events, which would not have been hosted physically due to constraints of money, venue, and participants being in different locations have come online. “There is an excitement for virtual conferences now, and we want to create a global platform to enable community managers and event organizers across the world to engage with and expand their audience," he said.

Currently, 30% of his customer base is global, spread across the US, Europe, Singapore and Japan and 70% in India.

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