Exclusive: Dotcom Era Survivor Cvent Raises $136 Million Round

Cvent, a major event management software company, last raised funding around the time the previous century ended.

Today, the company announced that it has raised funding for the second time in its – most fascinating – history, and it’s a whopper:

Cvent has secured $136 million in venture capital financing from New Enterprise Associates and Insight Venture Partners, with Greenspring Associates also participating.

According to data from Dow Jones VentureSource, this marks one of the largest investments in a private software company this year.

It’s pretty amazing that we have seemingly never written about Cvent before. Happy to make an exception this time around. :-)

In all seriousness, Cvent’s journey as a company is a very interesting one (more on that in a guest post by Cvent founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal). Originally founded back in 1999, and backed by $17 million in capital that was burned almost as quickly as it was raised, Cvent turned around and today bills itself as the world’s largest meetings management technology company.

To give you an idea: the company currently has over 800 employees worldwide.

The company offers cloud-based software services for meeting site selection, online event registration and management, e-mail marketing, and web surveys, currently helping more than 90,000 users in 40 countries manage hundreds of thousands of events, surveys and e-mail campaigns.

The most impressive service offered by Cvent, imho, is its Supplier Network, a free online marketplace that connects event planners with some 150,000 hotels, restaurants and other types venues worldwide. It is most easily described as the “Expedia for meeting and event planning”.

To illustrate its sheer scale: Cvent says its Supplier Network is poised to generate $4 billion in business for hotels alone in 2011 (up from $60 million three years ago).

No wonder Cvent has strong relationships with most of the leading hotel chains from across the globe, including Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Accor.

Companies like Wells Fargo, The Coca-Cola Company, MetLife, Deere & Company and Procter & Gamble use Cvent’s solution for event organization and management.

Aggarwal tells me the investment will enable Cvent to grow its headcount to 1,000 employees – mostly engineers – over the next 12 months, and to solidify its position for its next decade in business. The company will also invest in the development of its social media and mobile products.

Not that they really needed the money; Cvent has apparently been running at a profit for the past 32 straight quarters. It hasn’t always been that way, though, and we’ll soon publish Aggarwal’s riveting account of the past 12 years, and how he got to this point (update: here you go).