Record revenues of €52.5 million in 2022 for Web Summit

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Marie Boran
A person (Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher) pictured in front of a wall that features the Web Summit logo prominently in several places. Katherine is seated behind a small microphone. This is a press conference at Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon.

In 2022, Web Summit saw record revenues of €52.5 million while reinvesting in global expansion.

Web Summit has issued financial accounts for 2022, showing record-breaking revenue for that financial year, with a long-term strategic focus on reinvestment in global expansion and talent.

“While it is always gratifying to book record-breaking revenues, it is even more rewarding to see so much of these revenues being reinvested in global expansion and the future growth of the business. We are very confident that the judicious investment of so much of those 2022 revenues in global growth will prove successful as we head towards what should be a record-breaking 2024,” said Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher.

An overview of 2022 for Web Summit

Record revenues with Covid-19 bounce-back

Web Summit achieved record revenues of €52.5 million during 2022. The revenue surge marked the organisation’s hugely successful recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which had prevented full-scale in-person events during 2020 and 2021.

This is the first time Web Summit has recorded income of more than €50 million. The increase was driven, in particular, by the return of two full-scale in-person events following the pandemic. Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon was sold out, with 71,000 attendees, 2,300 startups and 342 partners from 160 countries. In Toronto, Collision scaled to 36,000 attendees, with more than 1,500 startups and 250 partners from 130-plus countries.

Global expansion for the Web Summit brand

In line with its mission of helping people make the meaningful connections that change the world for good, Web Summit again opted for a strategy of continued investment in international expansion as it scaled Collision and prepared for its first ever Web Summit event in South America, Web Summit Rio.

The organisation also invested in laying the groundwork for its first event in the Middle East. Web Summit Qatar takes place from February 26-29, 2024, and has already shattered all pre-event targets.

Growing the Web Summit team

2022 saw a 15-percent increase in the number of people employed by Web Summit, with staff numbers growing from 246 in 2021 to 283 in 2022. There was an increase in headcount costs to help support the firm’s global growth, which has since been showcased through the success of its new events in Brazil and in the Middle East.

In particular, the Portuguese office experienced record growth, nearly tripling its staff count from 20 in 2021 to 59 in 2022. (Web Summit’s Lisbon office has since passed the milestone of 100 staff members.)

Web Summit also invested significantly in pay increases for existing staff across the business, in recognition of their success in guiding the company through the pandemic. The firm had chosen to adopt a policy of not making any employees redundant during the Covid-19 shutdown, when all in-person events were cancelled. During this period, Web Summit’s staff delivered phenomenal results in creating virtual conferences and laying the groundwork for the post-pandemic era.

Full-year 2022 financial results for Web Summit

As well as record-breaking revenues, the annual statements for financial year 2022 show that Web Summit’s EBITDA was €6.9 million, up 37 percent year-on-year, and gross profit stood at €30.8 million, up 35 percent from €22.8 million in 2021.

Web Summit retained more than €19 million in cash reserves. In light of Web Summit’s strategy of reinvestment for growth post-pandemic, after-tax profits for 2022 were €114,166.

The biggest drivers of cost increases from 2021 were marketing and production costs for full-scale, in-person Collision and Web Summit events in 2022, and increased headcount costs to help support the firm’s global growth.

“Web Summit was right to see that, in a post-pandemic, hybrid-working world, getting together to make meaningful connections would be more important than it has ever been. That is why all our 2023 events sold out, why we expect to see double-digit revenue growth for 2023, why we have already shattered all our targets for our inaugural event in Qatar later this month, and why we anticipate our other 2024 events to be more successful than ever,” said CEO Katherine Maher.

“It was also very important that a significant portion of our record 2022 revenues went towards pay increases for our staff, who had responded to the challenges of the pandemic. At the same time, we were delighted to welcome 37 new recruits into the business to help support our continued global growth,” added Katherine.

Web Summit also continues to invest heavily in its proprietary Summit Engine software – developed by its in-house team of engineers – which plays a pivotal role at in-person events, providing unparalleled networking and connection opportunities.

Main image of Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher on stage at Web Summit 2023: Oliver Hardt/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)


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