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Zoom’s Indian alternative Airmeet raises USD 12 million from Sequoia India

Airmeet competes with Zoom, as well as a handful of homegrown startups such as Floor, Say Namaste, KL Meet, and Reliance’s new venture JioMeet.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Bengaluru-headquartered virtual meeting and events startup Airmeet has raised USD 12 million in its Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India and Redpoint Ventures. Its existing investors Accel India, Venture Highway, and Global Founders Capital also participated in this round.

Airmeet said it would use the recent funding to accelerate technology development, grow its team which is spread across six countries from 60 to 100, and increase its global customer base.

The one-year-old startup founded by Lalit Mangal, Manoj Kumar Singh, and Vinay Kumar Jasti—all engineering graduates—wants to replace physical events with virtual ones.

“Our mission is to make virtual events so effective and engaging that it should appear archaic to organize an on-ground event. We are already seeing an irreversible behavior change among event organizers and an exponential rise in, what we call, ‘Digitally native events’,” Lalit Mangal, co-founder, Airmeet, said in a statement.

The company said the virtual events on its platform go beyond the traditional virtual event formats and offers multiple innovative event templates. “Airmeet rethinks how to deliver remarkable virtual experiences and by design has created a platform that is not restricted to host only traditionally large conferences – instead, Airmeet can power virtual events ranging from a professional meetup to a large film festival,” the company said.

The company claimed it has registered a growth of nearly 2,000% over the last quarter and by July it had hosted over 10,000 events.

The virtual meeting and events market gained traction once nations across the globe went into lockdown earlier this year due to the pandemic. Earlier this month, US-based remote-working and meeting platform Zoom said its quarterly revenue ended July grew by 355% to USD 663.5 million.

Virtual meetings and conferences are becoming more and more common in India as many companies look for an alternate mode to host their annual flagship events. For example, Reliance Industries, India’s largest conglomerate, hosted its annual general meeting on its virtual conference platform JioMeet. Indian Exhibitions Industry Association (IEIA) said the sector has suffered a loss of INR 3,570 crore (USD 485 million) due to canceled events on account of coronavirus pandemic.

In India, Airmeet competes with Zoom, as well as a handful of homegrown startups such as Floor, Say Namaste, KL Meet, and Reliance’s new venture JioMeet. The largest virtual conferencing company Zoom has said India is one of its largest markets globally and recently opened data centers in the country.

“India is a strategically important country for Zoom and we expect to see continued growth and investment here,” said Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom.