Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious health condition that prevented me from venturing out of my home. I was unable to meet people, and attending events, shows, and conferences was out of the question.
It was not unlike the situation that millions find themselves in today—homebound, working and socializing remotely, and (at least for some of us) improving our cooking skills.
One night, in January 2019, I had had enough of the isolation, so I sat down at the kitchen table in my London apartment to write some code.
Those first lines of code eventually became an early version of Hopin—an online platform that provided a new way for people to come together and connect, no matter their physical or geographic limitations.
In late 2019, I released a version of this virtual event platform, not knowing what to expect. But soon after, I noticed a promising trend: After joining an event hosted on Hopin, 3% of attendees became organizers themselves. Very quickly, our product waitlist grew to the tens of thousands.
By November 2019, I was feeling optimistic enough to think, “If we aren’t the fastest growing startup in the world next year, I shouldn’t be CEO.”
At the beginning of 2020, we had a team of six and plans to launch in September.
Of course, the universe had different plans.
Covid hit, and demand for a solution like ours exploded overnight. Even though we were a small team and halfway through a redesign, we decided to go for it and launched six months early, in March 2020.
The days and weeks that followed were a whirlwind. I remember taking calls late on Friday nights about events that would be cancelled by Monday if we couldn’t provide our software.
Fortunately, even in those early days, our customers told us that Hopin felt just like an in-person event. Word started to spread. Ten customers became 100, then 1,000, then 10,000.
To serve that great surge in demand, we raised a $40M Series A in June 2020. With that investment, we were able to accelerate product development and provide stability at scale.
We began to host bigger events like The Atlantic Festival (37,000+ attendees from around the globe) as well as events with specialized interactive content like TechCrunch Disrupt. We worked with organizations like the United Nations, Financial Times, and the American Heart Association.
Then, in November 2020, we closed our Series B of $125M, which allowed us to dramatically scale our team (to 411 employees today), make strategic acquisitions like those of StreamYard and Topi, and position ourselves for the future.
Now, more than 80,000 organizations use Hopin and 3.6 million video content creators use StreamYard, with millions more attending and viewing every month. From almost nothing in March 2020, our business has grown to north of $70M in ARR.
This round values Hopin at $5.65B—a figure that brings with it high expectations, but also serves as a testament to the real results our incredible, fast-growing team has delivered for our customers over the last 12 months.
Today, I am also thrilled to share that we are adding key members of our leadership team.
The Hopin team has grown unbelievably fast—and we’re not slowing down. That’s why I’m excited Sarah Manning, VP of People; and Jonathan Killeen, Head of Remote, are joining us, so we can continue to hire the best talent in the world and support them with a vibrant, innovative organizational culture.
Also joining Hopin is Anthony Kennada, our new Chief Marketing Officer. Anthony is an event professional at heart, who has scaled brands and marketing organizations that have achieved historic results. He will be a key ingredient of our continued growth.
The future of shared experiences
Looking forward, our vision is to create a world of better shared experiences—in which people can meet, connect, and form communities, unhindered by physical or geographic limits.
Shared experiences take many forms—encompassing virtual events, but also more. We plan to build the products that shape and define hybrid experiences, internal communications for distributed teams and hybrid work, and digital communities.
For a hybrid world—in which more and more events, experiences, and exchanges will have both in-person and online dimensions—Hopin will be the answer. You can get a peek at what that hybrid future looks like on March 25, at the Hybrid Events: Unlocked digital conference, hosted by Hopin and leading agency emc3. Register here.
That vision—of shaping and defining the future of shared experiences—also means the continued evolution of Hopin into a suite of platforms and tools. As illustrated by our acquisition of StreamYard, we will prioritize video innovation, the core of high-quality digital connection. Expect more updates from us soon on this front.
I will close with the most important piece—the Hopin team.
True to our vision for the world, we have built our company to be remote-first. Never have we presumed that London, or Silicon Valley, or any one city or country has a monopoly on big ideas or great talent.
Unequivocally, this has been a secret of our success: the ability to hire smart, humble, passionate people from around the world. We will continue to grow our team—especially Product and Engineering—hiring the best talent in the world, period. (Speaking of which, you can find open positions here.)
I am under no illusion that our kind of growth just happens. It takes a rare team, the trust and confidence of great customers, and the counsel of key partners to be able to do what we’re doing: Imagining a new world and then going out to make it.
We have come a long, long way from my kitchen table in that London apartment. But we still have a ways to go. And we’re just getting started.