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As virtual events are here to stay, Zoom competitor Zuddl closes $13.3M funding 

With the pandemic crisis still clinging around, did you think that events will take the offline route? Moreover, everyone has enjoyed the convenience of the virtual events despite the pros and cons associated with it.

As virtual events are here to stay, Zuddl, a California-based virtual events platform has closed $13.35 million in a Series A funding round led by Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), which is backed by DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform, and managed by Falcon Edge Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC. Also, existing investors GrowX and Waveform Ventures participated in this round.

Zuddl will use the fresh funds to accelerate product development and scale globally, with a particular focus on the US market. Besides focusing on geographical expansion, Zuddl will deepen its tech team, and further build on its offering with this round.

“Zuddl’s growth can be attributed to enterprises’ need for greater customizability and control for their virtual and hybrid events. Most of our customers are global companies with remote teams, who have complex use cases that we help solve easily, all the while being on-brand,” said Bharath Varma, CEO and Co-founder of Zuddl.

“What works to Zuddl’s advantage is the fact that they are from the events industry and understand the ground realities too well,” said Anirudh Singh, Managing Director, Alpha Wave Incubation.

“Zuddl’s platform for hybrid events helps enterprises easily customise and manage events with greater engagement,” said Varsha Tagare, Sr. Director, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Managing Director at Qualcomm Ventures. “We look forward to supporting their journey to enable new applications and immersive experiences for the events sector using XR, AI and 5G.”

“We were excited by the vision, strong expertise and speed of execution of Zuddl’s founding team. Bharath and Vedha make a well balanced and exceptionally talented founding team. Their deep understanding of the needs of event organisers, speakers, sponsors and above all the attendees coupled with their product first thinking has made Zuddl offering stand out in a highly crowded space”, added Manu Rikhye, Partner, GrowX Venture.

Helps large companies

Zuddl doesn’t focus on public-facing trade shows that happen every year. It helps large companies with Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, HSBC, Kellogg’s and others host their internal events. These can be training programs, job fairs, cross-department networking gatherings, etc.

As every company and team wants to do things in a different way, Zuddl offers ample flexibility and customisability for its users. For instance, it lets users adjust the colour, brand it they way they want and enable only features they want to use.

Also, companies can customise their virtual venue with backgrounds, clickable zones, and more to make it resemble a physical place. There are many templates and users can just upload their images to get the feel they want.

While these might sound simple, there is a lot that is happening behind the scenes. Zuddl helps simplify the complexities involved in hosting live stages. Also, there is a dedicated chat area just for backstage hosts to communicate with speakers on the stage. Besides these, the Zoom competitor can handle tasks such as stage timers, recording sessions and ticketing system integration.

How much does it cost?

Zuddl offers three plans for its customers. The first one is the Essential plan that is ideal for organisers who want to host a single event. It is priced starting from $2,000. The other two plans are Business and Enterprise. These are meant for organisers hosting high impact events and year-long event requirements. The pricing of these plans are customised based on the requirements.

Story of Zuddl

During the pandemic in 2020, Bharath Varma and Vedha Sayyaparaju, founded the virtual events platform Zuddl. Months before the COVID-19 outbreak, they talked about this idea and wanted to bring it to reality. Since its debut, they have been keen on improving the product, growing the team and increasing their client base. Backed by Y Combinator, it has witnessed a growth of 30x in less than two years.

Also, they have added a lot of features and improvements to the platform to help organisations to host virtual events seamlessly. Event organisers have built digital replicas of their physical office spaces, recreated their favourite venues, and built completely themed event spaces.

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