WTR Fireside Chat with Cvent Head of Sales & Marketing and Co-Founder Chuck Ghoorah and Dragoneer Investor Taylor Gilland
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|Fiscal Year End||December|
- Water Tower Research hosted Chuck Ghoorah, Head of Sales & Marketing and Co-Founder of Cvent and Dragoneer Investor Taylor Gilland on December 1, 2021 as part of our WTR Fireside Chat Series. We took a deep dive into Cvent’s sales and marketing organization and Dragoneer’s thoughts and dilligence on selecting Cvent for its SPAC. The event is available on demand, and is open to all investors.
- Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II. is merging with Cvent, a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider. Cvent’s suite of solutions automates and simplifies the event-management process and delivers live engagement to maximize the impact of virtual, in-person, and hybrid events.
- Taylor Gilland laid out the logic and due diligence that Dragoneer did on Cvent. Dragoneer invests in SaaS businesses that are (1) market leaders, (2) have sustainable differentiation, and (3) are underappreciated growth stories. Taylor highlighted a number of survey results that point to very high net promoter scores (NPS), high customer satisfaction, and future plans to go back to in-person events when possible.
- Ghoorah dove deep into his sales and marketing teams. Highlights include the AI that helps teams pick what to sell next to who, the data driven compensation strategy, and the ability to manage sales pipelines, which allow the company to project revenues.
- With 92% of revenue recurring and 79% from subscriptions, the company believes it will grow adjusted revenue ~23% in each of the next two years, while keeping the EBITDA margin in the 16.5% to 17.8% range. The company’s longer-term model has the EBITDA margin growing to the 35% to 40% range, driven by volume and a waning COVID-19.
- Nine of the original 11 members of the management team are still with the company. The team has experience as a public company; for all the 11 quarters the company was public it beat consensus and raised guidance, while growing revenue YoY. Most SPAC targets do not have this level of experience, which allows Cvent to stand out among other deSPAC opportunities. Investors should not underestimate this facet of the Cvent story.
Cvent offers cloud-based, enterprise event marketing and management, and hospitality solutions through its Event Cloud and Hospitality Cloud businesses.
Event Cloud consists of tools that enable event organizers to manage the entire event lifecycle and deliver live engagement across multiple events and formats such as in-person, virtual, and hybrid. The Event Cloud platform serves as a system of record for events and engagement data collected across an organization’s Total Event Program, which comprises every internal and external event that an organization hosts or attends. By using Cvent’s platform, organizations can aggregate and analyze attendee engagement across all events they are part of building a clear picture of buyer interest.
Hospitality Cloud offers a marketplace that connects event organizers looking for appropriate event space for their in-person and hybrid events with hoteliers and venue operators through a vertical search engine built on a proprietary database of detailed event space information. In addition, Hospitality Cloud provides marketing and software solutions that hotels and venues use to manage and measure their event business to attract leads and grow their businesses and to manage and measure their events business from lead to sale.
The combination of Event Cloud and Hospitality Cloud results in a cohesive platform that generates network effects and attracts more event organizers, and hotels and venues that then purchase Cvent solutions. Read our initiation report and all our reports on Cvent on our website here.
John Roy: Welcome everyone. I’m John Roy, Managing Director covering Technology for Water Tower Research. Today we will be digging deeper into Cvent. But before we get into CVENT, Taylor do you mind providing a little bit of background on Dragoneer?
Taylor Gilland: Dragoneer is a growth-oriented investment firm based in San Francisco with over $20B in AUM.
The core tenant of our investment philosophy is to look for the most exceptional companies on earth and find a way to partner with them for the long term
What does exceptional mean to us? It’s really 3 things:
a) First – companies with sustainable differentiation and deep durable moats
b) Second - excellent economic models that create significant cash flow over time
c) And third, but maybe most important – extraordinary management teams who have demonstrated an ability to build enduring franchises
By partnering with these companies, and ...
Co-founder,President of Worldwide Sales & Marketing
Cvent Holding Corp
Chuck Ghoorah is the Co-Founder and President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Cvent. Chuck has been instrumental in Cvent’s growth from a two-person start-up to a 4,000+-person company. To date, Cvent has helped its tens of thousands of customers around the world manage millions of events
Chuck is responsible for Cvent's top line revenue across all product lines worldwide, including the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN), the world's largest free online marketplace that connects event planners with hotels and venues. More than $18 billion and more than 43 million room nights were sourced through the Cvent Supplier Network, and the company's other sourcing platforms in 2019 alone.
With more than 20 years of experience in the meetings industry, Chuck has spoken at over 100 conferences and trade shows; advised dozens of Fortune 500 organizations and large associations on the business impact of strategic meetings management and event marketing; and built relationships with some of the world's top hotel chains, including Hilton and Marriott.
Prior to joining Cvent, Chuck was a corporate attorney with Hale and Dorr, where he specialized in venture capital financing and technology transactions. Before Hale and Dorr, he served as an Associate Director at the Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO) and launched his career as an attorney at Williams & Connolly, one of the top-rated litigation firms in the country.
Chuck graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University. He then earned his master's degree in political science from Duke University’s Graduate School and his Juris Doctorate with honors from Duke University School of Law.
Cvent Holding Corp
Taylor Gilland has invested for Dragoneer Investment Group since 2017, where he helps lead the private investing team and focuses on SaaS and Fintech companies.
Three of the companies he's invested in have since gone public (Datadog, Slack, and Snowflake) generating an estimated $1 billion in portfolio gains.
Prior to Dragoneer, Gilland worked at The Blackstone Group & TPG Capital, where he helped launch the Rise Fund, the largest social impact fund of its kind. In his free time, he runs a cafe in North Carolina with his mother called The Purple Bowl.
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