Starting as a digital networking platform in 2015, Hubilo presently operates as an stop-to-quit virtual event platform with 40% of its purchaser base within the US, whilst the APAC and the EU account for 25% of every
Hubilo’s cofounder and CTO, Mayank Agarwal, credits his bond with the other cofounder Vaibhav Jain and the company’s obsession with patron pleasure for its growth
cft stuck up with Agarwal to chart the adventure of the startup thru many demanding situations and explore how manufacturers can grow and scale up with the assist of virtual and hybrid events
“For us, it's far a friendship of 12 years. Right from the start, we relied on every different and knew that we needed to give every other space. That is the only way a CTO can think of innovation, and the CEO can think about the business and its increase. Cofounders will always require that type of consider and space to make it a success.” — Mayank Agarwal, cofounder and CTO, Hubilo.
This understanding among Agarwal and his cofounder Vaibhav Jain has enabled the duo to scale their startup via numerous market situations — pivoting and updating with each primary enterprise shift.
Hubilo become started out in 2015 as a virtual networking platform and currently operates as an cease-to-end virtual event platform, with forty% of the patron base inside the US, while the APAC and the EU account for 25% each. Its esteemed customers consists of the United Nations, Walmart, AB InBev, Roche Pharma, Echo, and GITEX.
Earlier, the startup told cft that it shifted to stay virtual occasions 26 days into the 2020 lockdowns and on account that then have managed to onboard extra than 750 customers from 100+ international locations and engaged with extra than one hundred Mn attendees through its portfolio of 10K+occasions.
When asked about Hubilo’s inception, Agarwal recalled that his cofounder usually had an entrepreneurial attitude and the imaginative and prescient to start his organization. “After university, I become working for an IoT startup when he (Jain) called and asked me to enroll in his startup and build an in-house tech team. And I said sure without questioning twice. I just knew that if he had started out something, it might grow large.”
But after they started as a digital networking platform in 2015, the market changed into not ready for it. It changed into while Zoom or Google Meet or Meet Now had no longer come to be component and parcel of our every day lives as they're now in a virulent disease-hit international. People have been nervous of the digital international, and stay-streaming of digital occasions changed into some thing however niche. But all that modified in 2020 because the Corona crisis delivered life (and the financial system) to a shuddering halt.
While companies across sectors noticed their sales hit rock bottom, digital networking turned into a few of the few markets that witnessed a surge. By then, nearly all enterprises had started out using those platforms for their day-to-day operations, especially because the paintings-from-domestic culture flourished due to long spells of lockdowns throughout the country.
As realisation dawned that the sector might no longer go back to pre-Covid normalcy whenever quickly, new digital event systems hit the market, and event planners began exploring those. But none of those structures had the tech stack that would help businesses host massive-scale events.
Understanding the brand new undertaking, Hubilo determined to faucet into the opportunity. “We experimented and introduced a video networking platform to our existing one. We did this in 20 days with a small team of 35-40 humans. Out of them, only 10 had been engineers. In those 20 days, we launched our new platform and hosted a completely successful event of round 300 attendees,” delivered Agarwal.
After web hosting the video-integrated event, Hubilo fully realised the ability in this space and started including more features to its platform. Since its leap of tech, the enterprise has hosted huge-scale events — — for the Indian entities of businesses consisting of Publicis Sapient (TLG India), Nivea India, Reliance Jio, Schneider Electric, and George P. Johnson.
Here are the edited excerpts from cft’s interplay with Mayank Agarwal as the CTO charts the tech and innovation at Hubilo and his learnings through the pivots and growth.
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cft: Tell us approximately the preliminary market hesitancy regarding virtual occasions. What are the important thing demanding situations, and the way advanced is the Hubilo platform to counter them?
Mayank Agarwal: Hosting an occasion is an art. When you do it, you need to power attendee participation and engagement at the side of the classes, and it's miles tough. In physical activities, there are alternatives of putting in place stalls, cubicles, and extra. But the virtual event itself will become a venue, and you have to do the entirety inside it.
In the start, just as the pandemic hit, brands have been hesitant, majorly due to the heavy dependence on technology. If one aspect is going south, the whole experience will be ruined. But 4 or five months down the road, they began noticing the steadiness of these systems. Not just Hubilo however all different event platforms which can be sturdy sufficient. So, it’s all approximately trusting the platform.
Going via this entire experience also made us realise that it's miles important to ensure that the event and the attendee studies remain ideal for occasion tech structures like ours. Therefore, we usually observe how we drive this journey on our platform via attractive and immersive event reports.
cft: What is the position of records and analytics in a a hit digital event? How can brands make certain the fulfillment of their events?
Mayank Agarwal: It is vital to have a look at the facts from past occasions that can help inform all departments of a advertising and marketing organisation what components of the activities resonate the most with audiences. Using occasion era, organisers can recognize more than who liked an occasion. They also can recognize a way to tailor each occasion experience to the man or woman earlier than, in the course of, and after the event.
People like enticing content material, specifically while they are able to engage in it with their friends and associates. This is one of the motives that the Netflix “watch celebration” feature has been a big achievement on the platform. One engagement method that has worked efficiently for Hubilo is to think of activities from a broadcasting perspective in preference to just looking to reflect a live occasion. Ultimately, people ought to be capable of attend an event from anywhere and have interaction with the content material with different attendees, whether they’re in-character or digital.
cft: You pivoted and launched a brand new product in 26 days. You have additionally launched Hubilo 2.Zero with more functions. How did you attain this feat?
Mayank Agarwal: We started out with a completely basic networking platform in 2015. And then, we experimented with the video issue. But whilst we saw boom, we knew it was now not a sustainable version.
So, to apprehend the marketplace and what form of features we should convey into the market, we did what we've continually accomplished. We focussed on what our customers have been pronouncing.
You may say this product has been constructed on consumer comments. We amassed a whole lot of remarks, especially six months into the pandemic, asking them what had to be built and what they wanted to look at the virtual networking platform. Through that, we additionally understood the form of carrier-level agreements we should provide, the tweaks and the upgrades we might ought to make, and more.
Plus, we had a group operating on scaling, stability, and platform safety on the same time, ensuring that we would be GDPR-prepared as nicely. After all, we had to be open for the regular marketplace. We also were given the ISO 27001 certification in the ones seven-eight months. So, the whole lot became walking parallel back then.
cft: Hubilo has labored with global manufacturers. How do you ensure that manufacturers can leverage the platform’s capability to the fullest?
Mayank Agarwal: Well, we consider that Hubilo is a worldwide platform. It isn't always restrained to any geography, and our clients across the globe take into account that the virtual global is without boundaries. The credit score for this have to go to our customer achievement and onboarding groups. Understanding virtual occasions and their complexities might be tough. Therefore, our first focus is instructing our clients on the way to consider events from a hybrid or virtual perspective, the way to engage with the attendees, the way to scale the events similarly, and extra.
cft: What are the most important challenges whilst you paintings with clients throughout sectors and from everywhere in the global?
Mayank Agarwal: A predominant challenge is language, of direction. When you need to attain out to different regions, you have to have get right of entry to to specific languages. It become a key cause for the brand new platform. We built the structure at the backend so that any language may be added inside an afternoon. So some distance, the platform helps 10 languages, and we can be including more very soon. Our most latest event that Hubilo hosted had a sign language interpreter as nicely, making the event more inclusive.
cft: What about the sudden customer surge amid the pandemic? What adjustments had been required in your operations and commercial enterprise version to deal with it?
Mayank Agarwal: We have a totally responsive customer service group, and we have genuinely no reaction time as a customer service manager is proactively on-name in the course of practice classes, all through the event need to any troubles arise, and after the event if the client desires assist decoding the records. They aren't just supplying support over chat or email. The customer service supervisor is part of the overall occasion crew and is to be had to assist in real-time at every event. During the surge, we multiplied our group, and now we have 60-70 certified engineers who recognize how to clear up complicated issues. We additionally remodeled our infrastructure and tech stack to guide large activities as we knew we ought to be prepared for it. All we had turned into a grace period of 3-four months because planners might take that point to regulate to the virtual occasion space. Those months were like a battle period for us. We grew across all departments.
cft: The world is catching on to hybrid activities. What can we count on from Hubilo to amplify that revel in?
Mayank Agarwal: To accommodate hybrid occasions on the platform, we've made a variety of updates to our currently released app. We are now presenting attendees and audio system with a one-to-one video calling option besides front room and networking alternatives and more. We have also opened our platform to numerous carriers, making it more bendy.
Hubilo has these days released a test-in app to help organisers improve safety, safety, and compliance for their attendees, speakers, and groups — both in bodily and digital occasions.
cft: Finally, what’s next on your product playbook and global growth plan?
Hubilo has the biggest suite of engagement and gamification functions available on the market and we’re persevering with to feature to that suite of capabilities in order that people can engage wherever they're, on any device. I don’t want to get into our worldwide enlargement plans just yet, as the virtual international is ultimately without boundaries and our occasions can be hosted from everywhere and in any timezone. That’s one in every of the most important benefits of a virtual event.