As countries ease up on COVID restrictions, activities are going back in person. But the virtual event space continues to attract investors, at least in Asia. Hong Kong-based events management platform EventX said today it has raised another $8 million for its Series B, lifting the total amount secured for this round to $18 million.
The new injection was led by GL Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of Hillhouse Capital. Previous investors include Gaocheng Capital, an investment firm founded by a former Hillhouse partner, and HTC, the Taiwanese electronics giant that has pushed into virtual reality in recent years. EventX declined to disclose its post-money valuation.
The Series B came eight years after EventX was founded, an unusually patient fundraising pace compared to many cash-burning internet firms across the border in mainland China. The company started out by managing real-life events, from supporting user registration to helping attendees exchange virtual business cards. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, it saw an opportunity to go digital, so it developed a new service akin to Hopin, supporting live events like webinars and virtual exhibitions. Today, the platform also has a lead-generation function, helping organizers develop new clients and partners through events.
Thanks to pandemic control on in-person events, Hopin became one of the fastest-growing companies in recent memory. But news came last week that the London-based startup had laid off 12% of its staff as it realized post-COVID demand for virtual events would slow. The pandemic was also a boon to EventX; its online attendees in the fourth quarter of 2021 grew by 120%. And even if live events resume their normalcy, the company believes it can cling onto its long-running offline business.
So far, the company has helped organize events in more than 100 cities, mostly across Asia, and its platform has served more than five million attendees. Its team of 100 is spread across Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The startup plans to spend its new proceeds on potential acquisitions, product development, recruitment and expansion in Asia, particularly Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It also has ambitions to bring VR solutions into its event experience by teaming up with its investor HTC.