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Meetings technology firm Cvent through 2014 plans to "invest
heavily" in sales and marketing and research and development, and extend
what executives late Tuesday called the company's "disproportionate
share" of the corporate strategic meetings management market.
"We are focused on deploying
some of our additional growth capital as quickly as possible, but we want to
make sure that we are spending efficiently on programs," Cvent CFO Pete
Childs said during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call. "Our
expenses were lower than expected in the third quarter, but with a significant
opportunity in front of us, we plan to increase investments in our growth
initiatives in the fourth quarter and into 2014."
Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal, noting that the company had
"almost tripled our R&D investment since 2011," told analysts
that Cvent in the fourth quarter would launch "updated SMM dashboard
reports," as well as products and services related to citywide requests
Cvent reported about $29.1 million in third-quarter revenue,
up about 33 percent year over year and more than $1 million more than Cvent
projected in August. The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $829,000,
down from a net profit of $1.4 million in the third quarter of 2012.
Third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization,
including a $1 million charge related to Cvent's 2012 acquisitions, was $5.1
million, versus $5.3 million one year earlier.
Cvent cited Discover Financial Services, Estée Lauder,
Jostens, Kohl's and SAIC as new SMM customers signed during the third quarter, and
signed "multi-year renewals" with SMM customers including Merck,
MetLife, Procter & Gamble and SunTrust Banks. Aggarwal also identified "a
division of Johnson & Johnson" as a new SMM customer and a new
multiyear contract worth "in the low seven figures" with an
unidentified existing "Fortune
100 technology company." He said the majority of client wins were new SMM
customers, as opposed to wins from competitors.
Aggarwal also said Concur will use Cvent's CrowdCompass
mobile app for "internal employee and sales events as well as their
In terms of the SMM marketplace, Cvent "in the last few
quarters probably brought on more new logos than the top five competitors
combined," Aggarwal claimed. "Frankly, going public was also
very helpful because it just makes a lot of these larger companies more
comfortable with Cvent because of our transparency in our financials and so
forth. So, we're going to continue to invest. We think it's a great growth area,
and it's so underpenetrated, even for the customers that we do have because it
just takes time to roll [out] the product across geographies and across
Given that demand and the investment the company has made in
technology and customer service, Aggarwal said Cvent can charge "premium
pricing" for its SMM platform. "Customers are willing to pay a little
bit of a premium in order to get the best solution from a product and service
perspective, because they have so much at stake and because if they go global,
there are so few companies that can support them," he explained.
When asked by an analyst for his view of any potential
changes in the industry's competitive landscape triggered by the sale of
primary Cvent competitor Active Network, Aggarwal said, "We didn't really
get involved with that process and we feel very good about how we performed
over the last decade against them. We think that because of the large
opportunity we're going to continue to invest heavily, but we really haven't
seen a lot of shifts."
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