Why slowly expand a legacy Web business to mobile when you can do so by acquisition?
With a pile of cash in the bank, and an entrenched position in the cloud-based event management sector, this seems to be the growth strategy of Cvent. The company is looking beyond both the desktop and B2B clientele, toward mobile and consumer. There’s nothing wrong with anticipating where the puck is going and skating directly there.
Less than one week after announcing its acquisition of mobile app developer Seed Labs, Cvent today announced the $10 million acquisition of CrowdCompass, a social-focused mobile event application developer.
While Seed Labs built its business around sports, music, and festival events, CrowdCompass has emphasized business and association events, such as conferences, tradeshows and large-scale meetings. The company’s apps offer features tailored specifically for attendees, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and organizers.
The combination of these two mobile app studios seems to be both complementary to one another and to their acquirer, which formerly focused solely on Web-based applications. Cvent plans to integrate its existing event management tools, including online event registration, commercial venue sourcing, meeting management, and survey and emarketing tools, with the newly acquired development platforms. The result, it hopes, is a full service solution covering nearly all aspects of the events industry.
In the year prior to this acquisition, CrowdCompass built 435 apps, across iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, which received more than 500,000 downloads by event attendees. The company completed apps for companies E*Trade, Daimler, and Intuit, as well as associations The Meetings Technology Expo and the American Bar Association, to name a few. In one event last year for the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, which was indicative of the company’s clientele, the CrowdCompass apps was downloaded by 80 percent of the over 3,000 healthcare professionals and administrators in attendance.
Like Seed Labs before it, CrowdCompass will remain in its home city (Portland in its case), rather than relocating to Cvent’s Richmond, Virginia headquarters. “We are really focused on cultural fit and shared vision, as well as preserving what made these companies successful,” says Cvent founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal. He reiterated his commitment to learning from the newly-acquired companies and incorporating their best practices into other areas of its existing business.
In spite of what may be indicated by the pace of these acquisitions, they are the first completed in the company’s history. The amended growth plan has taken hold in the 12 months since the company completed a $136 million financing from from NEA and Insight Venture Partners — its first financing in more than a decade.
Aggarwall brought the financial partners in for more than their capital. The CEO knew he would need to leverage their outside expertise and relationships to complete a planned industry roll-up. Based on his previous comments and the speed with which this second acquisition was announced, expect more where this came from.