By Jules Maltz, Alex Lim, Karthik Ramakrishnan, and Somesh Dash
Today, IVP is proud to announce our investment in Hopin, the #1 virtual venue for events and conferences. IVP led Hopin’s $40M Series A financing, with Jules Maltz joining as a Director and Alex Lim joining as an Observer on the Board. We’re thrilled to partner with Founder & CEO Johnny Boufarhat and the entire Hopin team to build their vision of an events platform that brings people together and helps them forge deep connections, regardless of where they are.
Here’s why we are so excited about Hopin:
Events Will Never Be the Same Again
COVID-19 has changed the $1.1 trillion business events market forever. Gone are the days of “traditional” events, with thousands of people traveling hundreds of miles to be stuffed into a sweaty expo hall. But we also know that strong relationships with customers and prospects are critical for businesses’ growth. 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.
Hopin > Offline Events
Even before the current pandemic, Johnny and the Hopin team were working on fixing the massive inefficiencies in the events industry. Organizers struggle with the upfront cost of hosting an event with uncertain returns, and the cost of travel and time away from work is prohibitive for many potential attendees. Hopin’s digital-first solution upends this paradigm. Hopin events are a fraction of the cost of an offline event and can deliver more targeted, meaningful, and inclusive interactions with attendees. And since Hopin is online-first, attendees can join regardless of their location or financial situation. As a result, we believe that an online event is better than an offline event, a belief confirmed by glowing reviews by organizers and attendees already on the Hopin platform.
At IVP, we have been fortunate to invest in early hypergrowth companies like Slack, Snap, and Twitter, and Hopin’s rate of growth still shocked us. Hopin found clear product-market-fit in the marketplace, with more than 50,000 customers signing up to the company’s waitlist since their launch earlier this year. Big-name prospects are banging on Hopin’s (virtual) door, and organizations like Adobe, Dell, GitLab, NBC Universal, The Wall Street Journal, and United Nations are already signed customers. Hopin is expanding their team rapidly to service this demand, so if you want a seat on a rocketship, you can learn more here.
Customer-First Product Team
Hopin knows that online events are high-stakes for their customers. Brands, relationships, and deals are on the line as soon as the first attendee hops into their event. Hopin has responded by building an extremely customer-centric organization that responds rapidly to customer demands. Hopin’s product is easy-to-use, customizable, and multimodal, allowing organizations to host any type of event, from a live training workshop to a recruiting session to a full-scale user conference. Hopin even replicates the “serendipity” of an offline event with a networking feature that pairs interested parties for short video chats. The result is an experience that delights attendees and blows other solutions out of the water. Not content to stop innovating, Hopin has an ambitious roadmap, including support for hybrid online/offline events, global scale, and new types of attendee interactions that are only possible in an online format.
A First for IVP
Hopin is IVP’s first fully-remote investment … 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.
Jules Maltz, Alex Lim, Karthik Ramakrishnan, and Somesh Dash are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.