In-person meetings and conventions are going strong. While that’s cause for celebration in most corners of the industry, many of the virtual-event platforms that served as a lifeline for business communications during the pandemic are now struggling—or diversifying their business model.
Hubilo is one platform that’s taking the latter route. After laying off 120 people, or 35 percent of its workforce, in January, the company has announced its acquisition of Belgium-based fielddrive, which specializes in on-site badging and access-control technologies for in-person events.
In a letter to employees announcing the recent layoffs, reported by The Economic Times, Hubilo CEO Vaibhav Jain explained that a 2022 strategy shift to serve mid-market companies was not effective. “While we saw some green shoots in Q4 for our new strategy,” Jain wrote, “looking at 2023, it became clear to me that the only way to build a sustainable business is by restructuring our organization.”
The fielddrive deal gives the company tools for on-site check-in, sustainable badging, lead retrieval and analytics, and other in-person event-management capabilities. “Combining the two companies really pools our products, expertise, and talent, ensuring that we can deliver digital, hybrid, and in-person events anywhere in the world,” stated Jain in a release announcing the acquisition.
In addition, February saw Hubilo’s senior vice president of market strategy Sophie Ahmed named general manager of Hubilo Onsite, leading the fielddrive technologies.
Hubilo raised $125 million in Series B funding in 2021. In March 2022, it was named Freeman’s virtual-event platform partner.