Hopin, the London-based virtual venue for live online events, hasn’t just made lemonade out of lemons during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has for the sake of an analogy, deployed virtual lemonade stands across the world. And event organisers, delegates, job candidates and investors are queuing up.
Hopin founder, Johnny Boufarhat, and his Chief of Staff, Lily Chang, are on an impressive growth trajectory. Boufarhat has plans to make 150 more remote hires by the end of this year and hundreds more in 2021, according to the Financial Times.
Johnny Boufarhat, if I may be so bold, is Mr Serendipity. An expat kid that was also a coder from a very young age, he built a WWF online forum for fellow wrestling fans. In his second year of university, he sold a business that he had created while studying. And now, he has founded one of the fastest-growing companies in world, in under a year, made unicorn status with a valuation of $2bn and all in the midst of a pandemic.
“He is incredible and we backed him within 20 minutes of meeting him: Johnny is tireless in his quest to be the best!” said Tom Wilson, partner at Ventire Capital firm Seedcamp, in a Sifted interview.
Boufarhat has accomplished this level of success, like so many other successful entrepreneurs, because he turns problems into solutions – problems that he himself has experienced. That is why he can truly get behind the story and mission of his business.
The back story
Following a nasty bout of food poisoning soon after finishing university, that subsequently turned into an autoimmune illness making him housebound, the coder and budding entrepreneur was not in a physical condition to attend networking events, so he sought alternatives to physical events online.
Hopin’s team is working hard to ensure that the online experience is as close to the physical event as possible, so there are options for keynote speakers, exhibitor booths, breakout sessions, one-to-one networking and ticketed entry.
This week the Financial Times and its Startup news site, Sifted, have profiled the company. Here’s what the FT had to report:
“Unusually for a fast-growing internet start-up, Hopin is also profitable, with annual recurring revenues — a metric used by enterprise software companies to track the future value of customer contracts — now reaching $20m.”
If you take their basic package and most popular pricing model at $99/month, that adds up nicely if you are signed up for a year.
“We’ve seen other companies go through really rapid growth but nothing to the extent that Hopin is going through,” said Jules Maltz, partner at IVP, who has previously backed Slack, Twitter, TransferWise and Dropbox. “The company had very aggressive projections when we invested [in June]. They are beating those numbers by a wide margin.”
But if you want a more personal take on what this founder is all about, check out this chat with SaaS Revolution:
And to the very important bit, the job opportunities. One way that the company has been able to attract stellar talent is by promoting from its in-house network. Boufarhat asks his global and remote staff to nominate three people that they have worked with or know that are really good at what they do, regardless of their position, and to introduce them to the business. The introductions may not always work, but it is a clever way to conduct its recruitment drive. It has used recruitment firms for its executive team, however, it will continue to use a mix of traditional recruitment alongside its own website and employee networks for the next stage of growth.
For a list of current openings, all of which are remote, yet some do have a geographic focus, look here: https://hopin.to/careers
If you do not see anything that sticks out or is relevant to your skill set, yet, you feel you could bring something valuable to the business, Hopin encourages you to still send your CV along with an idea for the role you’d like to fill at Hopin at firstname.lastname@example.org