UK startup Hopin, an all-in-one live online events platform, has raised a Series A funding round of around €35.6 million led by IVP, and participated in by Salesforce Ventures and existing investors including Accel, Northzone, Seedcamp, and Slack Fund.
Founded in 2019, Hopin is an online event space which offers full conference capabilities: stages, networking, breakout sessions (roundtables), sponsors, tickets, analytics, and sponsors. It’s aim is to be a place where attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world, in a more human way. Additionally, they emphasise the ‘sustainable’ aspect of online events, avoiding the negative environmental impact of flights, trains and car travel.
After months of lockdown and many in-person events cancelled or forced online, this was Hopin’s unique opportunity to shine. In the past few months, Hopin has quadrupled the number of attendees on the platform each month, bringing together nearly one million attendees already this year. To get an idea of the scale of their growth, they state that they have more than 50,000 customers on their waiting list, growing daily.
Founder and CEO Johnny Boufarhat, explained: “We’ve been excited to see that while many of our customers are first coming to Hopin because of the pandemic, they are so energized by the experience that they plan future events right away. Our customers love that geography no longer has to be a limiting factor for their attendees. And they love that Hopin is the only venue that doesn’t have a maximum capacity. It means their good ideas get heard by more people—typically three times more than an in-person event. It means they can amplify insights and learnings across borders and boundaries. And it means they can help people network who would otherwise never be in the same room.”
“We now have the resources we need to meet our soaring demand, to continue bringing innovations online, and ultimately, to make virtual events a central part of the way we interact with each other – as communities, as companies, as organizations, and as friends,” CEO Johnny added.
It seems that the space around whether to cancel, reschedule or take events online caught the attention of firm IVP, and sparked their attention for a possible investment. The IVP team commented: “In March of this year, we started to see our portfolio companies cancel their annual user conferences and regional sales events, and realized that businesses across the world are scrambling to fill a gaping hole in their go-to-market playbooks. That began our search for a technology company with the ambition to fill the massive void left by coronavirus, and create a new model for event marketing.”
This was also IVP’s first fully online investment, which seems incredibly fitting: “We are still looking forward to meeting Johnny in person! It feels fitting that our first fully-remote investment would be in a company with a fully-remote workforce with a product that creates online connections. Johnny’s ambitious vision echoed far beyond his home office, and his mission to chart a new future for online experiences spoke deeply to us. Thank you to Johnny for letting us join the Hopin team. We can’t wait to build the future of events together.”