London’s Hopin has sold its virtual events units, the core of its business, to a California tech giant.

Hopin, founded by CEO Johnny Boufarhat in 2018, grew at an incredible rate when COVID-19 brought in-person events to a standstill.

Several rounds of funding culminated with an astonishing £288 million Series C round in 2021 – led by Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst – which valued the company at around £4 billion.  

Hopin has hosted hundreds of thousands of events on its platform and counted the likes of American Express, The Financial Times and Hewlett Packard as customers. Barely a year after launch it served 85,000 organisations, becoming the fastest-growing startup in Europe as it grew its fully-remote global team to 400.

A string of executive hires and high-profile acquisitions followed, including $250m for live-streaming platform StreamYard as well as video hosting firm Streamable and attendee engagement firm Jamm.

However the rapid decline in virtual events post-pandemic led to several rounds of staff layoffs. Now enterprise cloud communications firm RingCentral has acquired its Events and Session products.

Events is the platform for planning and producing virtual and hybrid events, the main portion of the business, while Session developed from Jamm and is used to manage interactive engagement during events. The deal includes tech assets, the engineering teams behind them and both platforms’ customers.

They will be added to the video solutions business of RingCentral, a publicly traded company with a market cap of just under $4bn led by Vlad Shmunis, its founder, chairman and CEO.

Video interview scaleup predicts $50m turnover

StreamYard and Streamable remain part of Hopin, which is also launching a new ‘community’ platform called Superwave. Boufarhat will stand aside as CEO and join the board, replaced by chief technology and product officer Badri Rajasekar – founder of Jamm.

Writing candidly in 2020 after a £32m Series A round, Boufarhat revealed how a rare and severe reaction to medication made him “allergic to the world” – and led ultimately to Hopin, which at one point was on course to achieve $100m annual recurring revenue. He says the firm remains profitable today.

“Vlad and I want to assure all valued customers of Hopin Events and Session that there will be no disruption to any of your events on any of our platforms during this transition,” he wrote in a blog post announcing the sale.

“Although I’ll be stepping back from day-to-day operations [at the remaining business], I am excited to continue to contribute to Hopin’s journey as a member of the board.”

Hospitality tech startup appoints new CCO