An Xcyte-ing Company Hosting Virtual Events
Report #1 Recap
Our Spatial Computing & Virtual Events Could Shake Up Business report states that the virtual events and virtual reality environments (VRE) sectors are expected to exhibit significant growth, with double-digit annual growth figures projected for roughly the next decade. This growth is fueled by various economic and technology factors that are driving the industry forward and advancing the underlying technology.
This report explores companies targeting the lucrative virtual events and VRE industries. We also profile Sophic Capital client Xcyte Digital Corp. (“Xcyte” or the “Company”) [XCYT-TSXV], an innovative event technology aggregator and developer leveraging spatial computing and artificial intelligence to provide a high value, cost effective, multi-platform subscription service for all virtual event needs. We believe that Xcyte is positioned to become the leader in this sector.
Numerous Popular Tools and Apps Utilized for Virtual Events
If you are planning to organize virtual gatherings from 10 to 100 participants, you can utilize video conferencing tools for this purpose. However, it’s important to note that there are distinct disparities between virtual event platforms and video conferencing tools. A “virtual event platform” refers to specialized software that incorporates advanced networking capabilities and audience management tools. In contrast, “virtual conferencing” tools are primarily intended for virtual meetings and may lack certain features like networking options, sponsorship opportunities, ticketing systems, and multi-stream agendas.
As a wide range of digitally enhanced event possibilities exist, it is essential to examine the impact of the spatial computing on decision-making as it progressively integrates into the marketing mix going forward. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tools and applications suitable for both types of gatherings that investors may be aware of.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and remote communication became essential for offices, the video conferencing app Zoom swiftly emerged as the dominant player in the market. In 2020 alone, Zoom witnessed a 470% increase in the issuance of new licenses, reaching a total of 385,200 licenses. Its position as the preferred teleconferencing tool for businesses is evident as 89% of Zoom users utilize the app specifically for business meetings. On average, Zoom meetings last between 31 and 60 minutes. For webinars, Zoom hosted an astounding 45 billion webinar minutes in 2020. To provide a comparison with pre-pandemic usage, Zoom had 10 million daily meeting participants in 2019, and this figure skyrocketed by 3,000% to 300 million participants in 2020.
Microsoft Teams (MSFT-NSDQ)
Microsoft Teams stands as the second most popular teleconferencing tool, selected by 12% of respondents as their preferred video conferencing platform. Surprisingly, despite being in competition with Zoom, Teams actually experienced higher growth rates than its counterpart in the second quarter of 2020. During this period, Microsoft Teams grew 894% from March to June 2020. The user base of Teams also saw substantial expansion, reaching 20 million users in 2019, 115 million users by the end of 2020, and 270 million users in 2022. Similar to Zoom, Microsoft Teams attracts users primarily within the 35-54 age group. However, Teams is more commonly utilized by educational institutions versus Zoom. Due to its affiliation with the Microsoft family, Teams enjoys a significant global presence, being available in 181 countries and supporting 44 languages.
Airmeet, a virtual event platform, experienced remarkable growth during the pandemic. By September 2020, the startup company’s value had doubled since March of the same year, reaching $50 million. Interestingly, even though Airmeet was in public beta mode during that period, it saw a 2,000% increase in usage in mid-2020, all achieved without any advertising investment. With a focus on large-scale virtual and hybrid events, Airmeet continues to expand its presence in the global market. In a February 2022 report from The Economic Times, Airmeet’s CEO and founder Lalit Mangal forecasted the company to achieve an annual revenue run rate of $20 million in the next year versus revenue of $5 million at the time. The company’s ability to raise $35 million at the time further reflected the strong confidence in the future of virtual events. According to Airmeet, more than 120,000 event organizers have utilized their platform to stream a staggering 150 million minutes of video content worldwide.
Cvent operates as a provider of event management software, catering to the needs of managing in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. The company offers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform, fostering a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging and impactful experiences. Cvent’s products streamline and automate the event management lifecycle, aiming to maximize the impact of events. In June 2023, Blackstone acquired Cvent for approximately US$4.6 billion, valuing Cvent at 7x trailing revenue. The purchase price was a 52% premium over the 90-day volume-weighted average price.
ON24 provides a digital engagement platform that operates via the cloud, facilitating businesses in converting customer engagement into revenue through interactive webinars, virtual events, and multimedia content experiences globally. Additionally, the company offers professional services, including experience management, monitoring, premium support, implementation, and other related services. Using generative AI, ON24’s sales and marketing platform for digital engagement enables businesses to utilize their suite of webinar, virtual event, and content experiences to drive engagement and generate first-party data.
Unity is a prominent platform for generating interactive, real-time 3D content and experiences. Its software and AI solutions cater to content creators of all sizes, throughout the entire development process, enabling them to construct, execute, and expand immersive, real-time 2D and 3D content and experiences for a range of devices including mobile phones, PCs, and augmented and virtual reality devices. Unity distributes its solutions directly through its online store, field sales operations, independent distributors, and resellers.
Ring Central Events (Hopin) (RNG-NYSE)
RingCentral is a global provider of cloud-based business communications and collaboration solutions, integrating phone, messaging, video meetings, and contact center functionalities. In August 2023, RingCentral expanded its capabilities through the acquisition of specific technology assets from Hopin, an all-in-one event management platform. The acquired assets include Hopin Events, a comprehensive platform facilitating the planning and execution of virtual and hybrid events, and Hopin Session, known for its capacity to make meetings interactive, engaging, and personalized. This strategic move serves to enhance RingCentral’s video solutions, empowering the company to offer customers a wider range of options, particularly for specialized video applications related to interactive events. The acquisition enables RingCentral to efficiently host and oversee virtual and hybrid events, all while maintaining competitive pricing for its clientele.
Eventbrite runs a self-service ticketing and experience technology platform catering to event creators worldwide. The platform integrates the essential elements required for planning, promoting, and executing live events, allowing creators to minimize hassle and expenses, expand their reach, and boost ticket sales. Eventbrite’s event marketplace serves both event creators and attendees across approximately 180 countries. Since its establishment, Eventbrite has played a central role in the experience economy, changing the way people organize and participate in events.
The Virtual Event Platform Global Market Report 2023 identifies several other prominent virtual event platforms that are extensively employed on a global scale. Beyond well-known platforms such as Zoom, Teams, and Airmeet, tools and applications used by both organizations and individuals when hosting virtual events include:
Many of these vendors are current Xcyte partners as we examine a little later in this report, while others are in review. Xcyte’s partner selection criteria are based on the quality of the platform, specific business use case, and reliability. Xcyte’s single platform subscription will constantly grow and evolve as new solutions enter the market and are vetted by Xcyte for customer needs.
A virtual event platform offers a convenient solution for hosting a wide range of virtual events, including conferences, meetings, workshops, online marketplace exhibitions, and virtual sports activities. It enables participants to engage in both peer-to-peer and one-to-many interactions, in a very natural way, distinguishing it from traditional webinar tools. The platform encompasses various features that go beyond the capabilities of standard video conferencing software. In essence, the virtual event platform simulates the experience of a large-scale social event, organized by individuals or specific entities, with a significant number of attendees. By leveraging the virtual event platform, users can create, host, and manage virtual events seamlessly, expanding their reach and enhancing engagement among participants.
Time to get “Xycte”d
Sophic Capital client Xcyte Digital Corp. [XCYT-TSXV] is a spatial computing and artificial intelligence enhanced event technology aggregator and developer providing a high value, cost effective, multi-platform subscription service for all virtual event needs. Recall from our Spatial Computing & Virtual Events Could Shake Up Business report that the metaverse is broadly defined as something we are immersed in, rather than something we just view, and that spatial computing, which is a broader technology with greater applications, provides a new gateway to digital experiences that deepen connectivity and complement everyday activities. Xcyte was created to take advantage of growing business demand for virtual events based in virtual reality environments that foster higher participant engagement. Xcyte’s all encompassing solution gives users the ability to chose from numerous different technology platforms offering multiple business use cases via one singular Xcyte subscription.
In our third report in this series, we’ll delve deeper into Sophic Capital client, Xcyte Digital Corp. [TSXV-XCYT].
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Xcyte Digital Corp. [TSXV-XCYT] has contracted Sophic Capital for capital markets advisory and investor relations services.