Empowering the Freelance Economy

Hopin: why it’s the fastest-growing startup in the world and hiring like mad

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Many of you may be surprised to learn that the fastest growing company – probably in the world – is not only British but is an international events company. That company is Hopin and it’s hiring like mad. To learn more about this company’s story and its hiring spree, read on.

On one January night back in 2019, Johnny Boufarhat, had a mission. It began with a set of code. That code was the answer to his own dilemma – to engage and network meaningfully with amazing people without having to leave his home. Until he could sort a serious health condition that made it nearly impossible to venture out, this was a shot at some much-needed normality and his next venture. So rather than remain in his isolated state, Boufarhat built a business. That business is now valued at $5.65bn.

“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.” – Johnny Boufarhat, Hopin Founder & CEO

Since November 2020 the remote workforce-led business has dramatically scaled its team (411 employees). It was able to do this with a $125m Series B round of funding, which accelerated its ability to make strategic acquisitions like StreamYard and Topi, and prepare for a hiring spree to take care of new customers.

Today, more than 80,000 organisations, including the United Nations, 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,” writes Boufarhat in a company news brief.

Hiring spree

This week Hopin closed a Series C round of funding of $400M, co-led by venture capital investors Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst, with IVP. The funding will help with onboarding new customers and hiring talent.

Hopin has made new hires to cover the recruitment drive. Those hires include Sarah Manning, VP of People; and Jonathan Killeen, Head of Remote. Also joining Hopin is Anthony Kennada as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“While I carry the title of Chief Marketing Officer, I’ll admit that I’ve always self-identified as an event professional in my heart of hearts,” writes Kennada in a LinkedIn article about joining the company.

“It’s time to dream again”

Kennada describes the impact that the pandemic has had on the events sector, “2020 punched us in the gut as an industry, but if I know anything about event professionals, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more resilient group of people.”

He describes the quick uptake to virtual meetings and events. “Across the entire events ecosystem, the pivot to virtual was on. Event marketers transformed their programmes from live to digital, and as a result, were able to increase attendance by an order of magnitude by removing the barriers of travel and expense. Agencies and suppliers became critical to production, helping coordinate everything from streaming platforms to AV and sound stages,” he says. 

Kennada says the survival of the events industry depends on event planners accepting that virtual events are here to stay. However, a hybrid in-person and digital pass approach to events will also be welcome, not only to boost the experience’s value to customers, but to be more engaging to a wider set of people. Virtual events within companies will also be the norm for remote working, events and onboarding of new staff, to name but a few event adaptions since the pandemic.

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