Hopin raises $125M for its online events platform on the back of surging growth

This morning Hopin, a startup that provides online events software, announced that it has closed a $125 million Series B round of capital. The new funds come mere months after Hopin raised a $40 million Series A this summer.

According to Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat, the new capital was raised at a $2.125 billion valuation, making Hopin a double unicorn. IVP, a prior investor, and new investor Tiger Global led the round. A host of other investors took part in the round, including Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, Seedcamp, Accel, DFJ Growth, and Coatue.

That the startup raised more capital is not a surprise, this being the third round in 2020 that Hopin has announced. Its virtual events technology caught a tailwind when COVID-19 cancelled travel and in-person events all around the world. Suddenly, Hopin’s vision of hosting events online was the only way to hold confabs. (TechCrunch is a Hopin customer, which had no bearing on our choosing to cover this funding event but felt worth mentioning.)

Its growth surged as 2020 progressed, something TechCrunch reported when Hopin raised its Series A.

When the startup announced its preceding funding round, Hopin said that the number “monthly attendees of events” on its platform had expanded from 16,000 in March to 175,000 in June. Now, according to the company, it has more than 3.5 million users and over 50,000 groups hosting events use its software.

Hopin has big plans. After growing its annual recurring revenue (ARR) from $0 to $20 million in nine months, the startup intends to continue hiring rapidly to double-down on investing in its product. Boufarhat told TechCrunch that more than half of its hires will be technical talent, and that his company is currently about 50% developers.

Hopin’s revenue and valuation growth put it in the topmost tiers of startup performance. It’s a company to watch. And Hopin wants to keep scalin: After growing from a single person to 215 in a year or so, the startup expects to reach 800 staffers in 2021.

Boufarhat also said that Hopin is profitable today — the company was nearly profitable when it raised its February round worth $6.5 million — an impressive feat for a startup growing as quickly as it is.

But what about the future, what happens when a COVID-19 vaccine goes from being good news to being an in-market reality? Boufarhat told TechCrunch that Hopin’s original vision was hybrid events, allowing IRL events to merge with online experiences, we reckon. So, when the world gets a vaccine, Hopin doesn’t see the event as an existential risk to its platform.

Not every event translates online well, Boufarhat explained. The more intimate and personal an event, or “experiential” as the CEO said, the better it probably is as in-person affair. But it’s likely the world of corporate events that are driving Hopin’s growth, and those customers may invest in a hybrid events future when 2021 shakes out. We’ll see.

Looking to the future, Boufarhat wants Hopin to become a platform where other technologies can intersect with the startup. This may be how Hopin works with third-party VR technology, he said. And, the company is adding capabilities around its original events platform like a new “Hopin Events” website that will allow regular folks to sort events by speaker, topic, and other parameters. Perhaps Hopin Events will help drive interest into events that the startup hosts, making its service more attractive over competing companies’ own.

Hopin is somewhat expensively priced for its current ARR. But if it can keep up its rapid growth, the startup may quickly grow into its valuation. Especially if it can keep close to profitability as it scales. Let’s see how far Hopin can get in another quarter or two, and if we can get another ARR number out of the company in early 2021.

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