Tysons-headquartered Cvent, which provides business tools for customers to plan, market, and organize meetings and events, is headed back to the stock market.
“We are thrilled to go public again because it provides significant financial resources to further strengthen our business and accelerate investments across our platform and related services,” CEO and founder Reggie Aggarwal said in a letter posted on Cvent’s website.
Unlike its initial public offering on the New York State Exchange in 2013, Cvent will make use of the less rigorous and in-vogue process of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II, affiliated with a San Francisco-based investment firm.
The deal values Cvent at $5.3 billion and could give the company over $800 million in cash, which can be used to reduce debt.
Cvent’s plans to go public were first reported on Wednesday (July 21) by the Wall Street Journal, though a spokesperson then described the news as “WSJ speculation” when asked for comment by Tysons Reporter.
After Cvent initially went public, Vista Equity Partner, an investment firm based in Austin, Texas, acquired it for $1.65 billion in 2016.
The decision comes after a difficult year for Cvent and the event management industry as a whole.
Schools, governments, and businesses largely moved to virtual environments when COVID-19 swept the U.S. in March 2020. At the time, Cvent didn’t have a virtual event platform, but it developed one in five months as it assisted customers in managing tens of thousands of virtual events.
“The meetings and events industry has experienced rapid digital transformation over the last 18 months, with the pandemic creating a new paradigm for the events industry,” Aggarwal said in a statement. “Events became digitized through virtual and online experiences, and we invested heavily in expanding our virtual event capabilities.”
Dragoneer founder and managing partner Marc Stad said in a statement that with much of the U.S. reopening, they expect to move into a “hybrid world that combines elements of in-person and virtual events.”
Aggarwal founded Cvent in 1999 after organizing dozens of events each year with a nonprofit he started while working fulltime as a corporate lawyer. He found difficulties with only having Microsoft Outlook for email, Excel, and yellow sticky notes as tools, so he created the company to ease the event process with technology.
According to a presentation, Cvent currently has roughly 23,000 customers and is forecasting over half a billion dollars in revenue for 2021.
“Now, we are engaging in a hybrid world, as in-person events resume, and virtual events remain prominent,” Aggarwal said. “With the increased digitization of our industry, events are ‘always on’ and have fewer boundaries.”
The tech company has around 4,000 employees across U.S. locations and around the globe. It also provides hotels with software and marketing services for making the most of their meetings and events business.
The Cvent and Dragoneer boards of directors have both approved the proposed business combination, but it’s subject to approval by Dragoneer’s shareholders too, among other factors.
Cvent said that upon closing of the deal, the combined company will operate as Cvent Holding Corp. and is expected to trade under its old ticker symbol “CVT.”
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