Hopin: Giving Traditional Events a Virtual Makeover
Designed to engage. Envisioned to virtually connect. Bound to deliver. Those were the three business pillars Johnny Boufarhat had in mind the first time he designed Hopin. Ever the creator, Johnny had always trusted his set of professional skills and utter love for designing to deliver something of value to society.
When Hopin first made its debut, the only thing Johnny wanted was for it to become a platform that enabled event-attending online. Initially, Hopin became just that, a place where event enthusiasts could come together virtually and brainstorm ideas, exchange business visions, and do it all within a realistic conference setup.
With the arrival of the COVID pandemic, Johnny saw the perfect opportunity to grow his platform even bigger than it had been before. Making the most of the lockdown and opening the gates to a new and improved way of communicating and gathering, Hopin has become the ultimate business sanctuary for event creators worldwide. How did Johnny take the leap of faith - from a structural coder to a refined virtual event venue service provider?
When Johnny was a little kid, he was fascinated by things that he could build, compose, connect, fix or find a solution for if necessary.
He was born in 1994 and had an interesting but humble childhood. Even from a young age, Johnny became intrigued with coding, so he started to research and learn how to become more knowledgeable at the craft. Aside from coding, Johnny also had a passion for wrestling and used to spend time in front of the TV watching one wrestling show after the other. When he was thirteen, Johnny created his first forum - a WWF platform for wrestling, which was also the first time that Johnny became part of a wider community.
During his high school years, Johnny was trying to improve his skills in coding and worked on smaller projects he found intriguing. When the time came for Johnny to choose a college, he decided to go to Manchester where he attended university to study Mechanical Engineering and Management.
During his second year there, Johnny managed to sell some of the coding projects that he had been working on in college. With the money he earned, Johnny booked himself a plane ticket to Asia and decided to spend his time adventuring.
When he came back to the UK, shortly after the trip, Johnny got sick and had to spend some time at home and off work. While it was a less-than-desired situation, Johnny had no choice but to follow the doctors’ advice and take a breather.
From Wannabe Coder To Founder
Johnny graduated from the University of Manchester a few years later, as a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Management. With a background in coding and a mechanical engineering degree, Johnny was more than ready to combine both skills and implement them in his future career.
After graduation, Johnny moved to London armed with strong ambitions and prepared to meet a major opportunity to lead him to a better job, and a better life.
At that time, Johnny felt sick once more, and this time around, the circumstances took him by surprise. Unfortunately, the disease was back and the diagnosis was worse than before.
Johnny was suffering from an autoimmune disease that made him both very ill and tied to his bed. Despite his wish to start fresh and find a job, Johnny was unable to fulfill his professional plans as he had intended to. Stuck at home and unable to leave the house for quite some time, Johnny began missing human interaction, in-person talks, and community engagements.
Frustrated by his current situation and inspired by the thought of keeping society together as a whole, Johnny thought about a brilliant idea - to develop a platform that would uniquely bring people together in one social network.
The Outstanding Virtual Venue
Being in London for almost two years, Johnny was recovering slowly but surely. One of the advantages of staying put was that he had all the free time in the world to design his community platform which would enable people to connect through organizing events of all kinds and join in as they pleased.
Initially, in 2018, Johnny founded Hopin and presented his product in front of various investors. The platform’s prototype soon followed suit and was released in 2019. After remaining a private beta for a while, Hopin earned its first dollar thanks to its first customer who, in mid-2019, had developed his own speed-dating event platform.
The official launch of Hopin took place in 2019 and promised a successful journey ahead. The platform is all about creating events- from hosting training workshops to initiating team-building activities, holding conferences, and concluding deals on the spot. The virtual venue aims to provide a meaningful network that encourages social interactions by presenting designated, in-person events. It also provides tools that enable its users and event creators to build their own experiences through customizing their events as they see fit.
Hopin’s goal is to reimagine virtual events so thoroughly that no other competitor would even come close to providing the same level of service. The platform mostly holds environment-friendly events, which help make our world a better place to live in, whilst offering clever, sustainable, and carbon-neutral solutions - all of them presented online and under maximum user engagement.
Giving no power to distance and making it irrelevant were two of the driving platform concepts which earned Hopin the stellar reputation it deserved. Not just that, but whilst most related platforms struggled with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopin was all about gathering more fame and becoming a more recognizable brand.
Hopin in Numbers
Hopin is headquartered in London and has recruited around 500 employees.
Although temporarily employed, all platform staffers have a 99% percent chance of being rehired on an ongoing basis. As a sophisticated event platform, thus far, Hopin has hosted around 45,900 events counting 561,424 event attendees, and has become one of the most designated platforms for organizing events worldwide as a result.
In July 2018, way before the pandemic struck, Hopin had hosted over 300 events, a number that reached 1,394 by January 2019. By July 2019, however, the platform counted over 4,951 hosted events, whereas in January 2020, Hopin had created over 11,021 events.
As if that’s not enough, a year later, the company overcame the pandemic crisis in flying colors and hosted an astonishing 32,000 events on a global scale. Given the numbers, Hopin has been named one of the fastest-growing platforms of today.
Overall, Johnny’s Hopin has managed to raise a total funding amount of $571,4 million with the help of approximately 20 investors, with Salesforce Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz being the most recent. Leading companies such as JETS, The Atlantic, and Twitch have become the platform’s trusted partners, whilst the brand was featured across a variety of outlets, including Forbes, CNBC, FORTUNE, and TechCrunch, among others.
Regardless of the obstacles life threw at him, Johnny had always found a way to come back stronger and turn his childhood passion into a blooming career. Thanks to Johnny’s Hopin, people have largely changed their perception of online events and virtual meetings.
Most importantly, Johnny’s platform encourages event creators and attendees worldwide to embrace the digital era, come together in a virtual setting and interact with one another - better, faster, and more efficient than ever before!