Hopin raises $400mn; why virtual events are here to stay

By William Smith
Hopin operates a platform for live virtual events - ranging from digital conferences to live training to conferences...

London, UK-based Hopin operates a platform for live virtual events - ranging from digital conferences to live training to conferences.

In line with the solutions it provides, the company describes itself as “remote-first”, with employees in 42 separate countries. Its customers, meanwhile, include the likes of American Express, Hewlett Packard and The Financial Times.

Hybrid event unicorn

Since its 2019 foundation, the unicorn has raised over $565mn across four funding rounds. Its latest Series C, announced yesterday, is its biggest to date - clocking in at $400mn. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst and IVP, alongside Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global.

Johnny Boufarhat, CEO and Founder of Hopin said: “We are creating a portfolio of products to build the future of live video collaboration and remote community. As we’ve seen, the importance of providing unparalleled virtual and hybrid event experiences has never been greater and this latest funding is a reflection of how critical it is as brands look for ways to connect with people and avenues of growth. To enable this, we are investing more in video innovation, the core medium of digital collaboration.”

The company said it would use the funds to accelerate its growth and further invest in its platform.

Are virtual events the future?

The backing suggests that, even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic recedes, virtual or at least hybrid events are here to stay. 

Back last year, even before the true impact of the pandemic, a virtual concert by American DJ Marshmello attracted millions to the game. A special mode was specifically created for the occasion wherein the usual objectives of the game were disabled and players were greeted by a stage and a digital representation of the musician. As the event progressed, players were invited to “dance” using emotes, special animations which can be unlocked for real money, and events mirrored the content of the songs.

(Image: Hopin)

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