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Sequoia, Redpoint lead Series A funding in virtual events firm Airmeet
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Airmeet Inc., which operates a startup focussed on hosting online events, said Tuesday it has raised $12 million (Rs 88 crore) in its Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and Redpoint Ventures.

Existing investors Accel India, Venture Highway and Global Founders Capital also participated in this funding round, Airmeet said in a statement. Gokul Rajaram, an executive at US food delivery firm DoorDash, also brought in capital.

The fundraise comes within months of the company raising $3 million in a funding round led by Accel India in March.

The startup was founded by Lalit Mangal, Vinay Kumar Jaasti and Manoj Kumar Singh in 2019. It lets users leverage its platform to broadcast events and allow participants and attendees to interact and network with one another.

The startup said it grew nearly 2000% over the last quarter, gaining one new customer per hour. This means the company gained from the coronavirus-induced lockdown that paved the way for virtual events.

Abhishek Mohan, vice president at Sequoia India, said the size of the global offline events market is more than $800 billion. “There is massive potential for players who drive the industry’s transition towards online events,” he added.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted companies engaged in enabling and hosting various events. Many of them including private equity and venture capital-backed players such as BookMyShow and BookEventz.com are also tapping into the online events market.

Rajesh Sehgal, founder at Equanimity, which backs BookEventz.com, told VCCircle recently that the lockdown had brought the startup's business to a grinding halt. But he added that the startup was going online.

Investors

Sequoia raised a record corpus of $1.35 billion for India, Southeast Asia investments in July. The firm had said then that the pandemic had catalysed a massive change in almost every startup’s trajectory and the startups needed to build on this Covid-19-induced state of high performance.

It had also said that while the pandemic caused a significant course correction, a new bull cycle for tech startups could soon be on its way.

Sequoia has invested in more than 130 startups in India including unicorns such as Ola, MuSigma and Zomato, though it was not an early investor in any of them and came in at the growth stage.

US-based Redpoint has been investing since 1999 in startups across seed, early and growth stages, according to its website.

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