Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

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During these days of isolation, it reminds me of how Hopin started years ago. An autoimmune condition often prevented me from meeting up with people at events. This is all too familiar to me again in 2020. Except today it seems isolation unfortunately is affecting us all.

One difference, however, is that Hopin exists. I’ve been humbled to watch as thousands of organizations successfully migrated their events online, helping millions of people stay connected, stay productive, and stay engaged with one another during this year.

But in doing so, the event industry has made an important discovery — that there were millions of people who hadn't attended their events in the past due to travel or schedule restrictions, price, or other reasons. Those limits are gone. We’re seeing events host record-breaking attendee numbers on Hopin every week. This is the future we’re excited to enable.

During the first few months of the pandemic, there were some who questioned the long-term relevancy of virtual platforms. We don’t hear those arguments anymore. There is a broad recognition that large parts of the new virtual infrastructure are here to stay, and it’s because they offer something that can’t be replicated anywhere else. Give the world a virtual venue, and they’ll plan weddings and parties and conferences and recruiting fairs. Lower the barriers to putting on an event, and suddenly thousands of companies will convene one for the very first time. This isn’t a fad; it’s the future.

That isn’t to say that live events aren’t returning. They are—and hopefully soon! But when they do, you can expect them to be hybrid events. When a conference like TechCrunch Disrupt is finally able to reconvene in San Francisco, for example, you can bet that there will be a virtual component powered by Hopin. There won’t be any second-class attendees whether you attend in-person or virtually.

In the eight months since we’ve launched, we’ve continued to be a top virtual venue of choice, for events of any kind, at any size, whether a conference, a fitness class, or an all-hands meeting. In that time, we’ve hosted events for over 50,000 organizations, from The Atlantic and WPP to NATO and the American Heart Association.

During the same time period, we’ve also been excited to add another 3.5 million users.

Our customers tell us that what they appreciate most is how well our platform approximates live events. When they create an event, it’s like they have a full-featured convention center ready to be filled with an unlimited number of rooms and experiences. This is what makes Hopin different from traditional platforms. Organizers can engage their live audiences in small to medium to large-scale gatherings with a multitude of tools designed for all the various types of human interaction that we enjoy at in-person events. Only it’s online—making it easier to attend, simpler to organize, and, thanks to data, more valuable to host and sponsor.

It has been my belief since day one that the best product always wins the day. That’s why we’ve hired over 200 people across more than 36 countries, half of whom are engineers, and it’s why we intend to hire another 1,000 next year. As a remote-first company, we’re looking to recruit the best and the brightest from all over the world. We’ve brought in expert executives from places like Salesforce and Facebook and we’ve hired intensely entrepreneurial employees to take ownership of the product and its potential, all while prizing generosity and collaboration above all else. As a result, we are moving at a record pace, and we have no plans to ever slow down.

Today, we’re announcing the beta launch of Hopin Explore, a virtual events marketplace where individuals, communities, companies, and friends can discover and explore virtual and hybrid events from anywhere around the world. At the time of this writing, there are more than 15,000 monthly events available to our users, and by the time you read this, there will be quite a few more. You can try Hopin Explore here.

As we grow, so will our offerings, our platform, and the categories in which we compete and win. And that’s part of the reason I’m so delighted about the results of our latest funding round. Today, we’re announcing that we’ve raised $125 million in Series B funding led by IVP and Tiger Global and joined by Coatue and DFJ Growth, along with our returning investors Accel, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, and Seedcamp. All told, we’ve raised $171 million since February. This investment will help us grow our community, scale our operations, innovate against our most ambitious goals, and shape the landscape of virtual events as a clear leader in the category.

We are excited about what this means for our company. But even more, we are thrilled by what it means for our customers—and our future customers. We know now, with a great deal of confidence, that virtual events and hybrid events are here to stay. Our job is to break down the barriers that stand in the way of anyone who wants to create or attend one. With this team, and with this funding, I know we will deliver.

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