Virtual Event Startup Hopin Raises $125 Million

By Bruce Harpham Friday, November 13, 2020

Investors are betting that demand for virtual events and conferences will continue to boom. With $125 million in new investment, Hopin has acquitted unicorn status. The company is now valued at more than $2 billion. More than 50,000 groups are using the platform to run events.  The company’s annual recurring revenue is estimated at $20 million and growing.

Virtual events may not be the only option in the future. However, as more companies and individuals experience virtual vents, they may retain popularity because they are less expensive to run than traditional events. According to the BBC, the global virtual events industry is valued at $1.5 trillion. If 5% or 10% of that event spending goes to virtual events, Hopin will have no problem continuing to grow.

What Hopin Offers

Hopin describes itself as an "online events platform." The company's client list includes some prominent names in the technology industry: Adobe, Slack, and Dell. In addition, the United Nations, The Wall Street Journal, and Unilever have used Hopin to run virtual events.

Users can run virtual events on Hopin in several ways. Organizers can offer fully public events, sell tickets, and use sponsorships. The platform also has more advanced features that set it apart from other video conferencing tools like Zoom.

Hopin provides multiple types of virtual rooms for attendees. For example, sponsors can set up a virtual booth in the Expo. Attendees can participate in one-on-one conversations through the networking features. Organizers can also choose to record sessions and share them afterward.

 $171 Million in Total Funding

In total, UK based Hopin has received $171 million in funding from 18 investors. Tiger Global Management and IVP have acted as lead investors in the company's recently announced Series B round. Tiger Global's successful exits include Facebook, Square, and Peloton. IVP has more than 100 exits to its credit, including Netflix, Uber, Casper, and Business Insider.

In light of investors’ track record supporting Hopin, management will be under pressure to deliver exceptional results. The company has stated it is currently profitable as of 2020. However, the company has not released financial statements, so the degree of profitability is difficult to assess.

Hopin’s Expansion Plan

Growing the Hopin team will be a crucial focus for the company. Hopin plans to hire about 150 additional employees by the end of the year. As of November 12, Hopin has 188 employees on Linkedin. That means that the company will nearly double its headcount in 2020.

In addition to hiring, Hopin is planning to use the funds to improve its platform. Some have speculated that the company may invest some resources in virtual reality capabilities.

Competing For Virtual Event Dollars

Hopin is one of several companies enjoying a booming 2020 thanks to the traditional event industry collapse. In October, Zoom launched an event feature that lets users offer free and paid events (read more in our story: Zoom Joins the Paid Virtual Event Industry). Other growing companies in the virtual event space include Adobe Connect, Bizzabo, Brazen, and vFairs. Software Advice lists more than twenty products in the virtual event software category.

In reality, there are many more products used for virtual events, even if they were not built for that purpose. Virtual meeting tools like Cisco Webex and Google Meet allow for dozens of attendees and more. That means they are a viable option for small event organizers.

Hopin’s Pricing Starts at $99

Hopin’s pricing structure combines self-serve and enterprise models. The Starter edition of Hopin, priced at $99 per month, is the most popular version selected by over 50% of customers. It gives customers key features like unlimited live video sessions, a virtual event lobby, and moderator features. The Starter education allows for a maximum of 100,000 registrants per event.

The Business and Enterprise versions of the product provide additional features like analytics, Zapier integrations, single sign-on security, and priority support. Pricing for the Business and Enterprise versions are not disclosed on the Hopin website. Given the company’s added services, like a dedicated account manager and priority phone support, these advanced plans likely cost much more than $100 per month.

Hopin vs. Las Vegas

Before COVID-19 disrupted the events industry, large corporations used to spend heavily on live events. Las Vegas, in particular, had prospered by becoming a hub for events. The city's MGM Grand Conference Center offered 12 million square feet of event space with another 3 million square feet available at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Hopin and other virtual event software providers will need to find ways to compete with Vegas and other cities’ entertainment facilities in the long run. For now, the pandemic will keep Hopin growing well.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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