Funds News

Virtual events firm Hopin doubles valuation in four months to $5.65 bln

STOCKHOLM, March 4 (Reuters) - Hopin, a British-based provider of virtual events, has raised $400 million from venture capitalists including Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst in its latest fundraising round that more than doubled its valuation to $5.65 billion in four months.

As the COVID-19 pandemic kept people indoors to try to contain its spread, conferences moved online, benefiting Hopin which Chief Executive Johnny Boufarhat said would be ready for an initial public offering by next year.

The company, which also counts IVP, Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone and Salesforce Ventures, among its investors had raised $6.5 million in February last year, $40 million in June and $125 million in November.

Talks about a new fundraising started a month earlier, Boufarhat told Reuters.

“This money is going to be mostly invested into building products, but we’re also opportunistic if it makes sense to make an acquisition that could fill in a gap,” he said.

Hopin bought live video streaming studio StreamYard in January for $250 million.

Boufarhat, who wants Hopin to become a multi-product company and plans to launch two new products in coming months, including one around video hosting.

The company’s platform allows meeting participants to network online in new ways, exchange virtual business cards, and get a summary of their new connections after an event.

Hopin has nearly 90,000 customers such as Poshmark, American Express, and The Financial Times, and 30,000 of those were added since the last financing round.

Boufarhat started designing Hopin while battling an autoimmune condition that prevented him from attending conferences and the project got a major boost during the pandemic.

“Every time he presented his plans we thought they were audacious and impossible ... until he came back exceeding them a few months later,” Andreessen Horowitz partners, David George and Sriram Krishnan, wrote in a blog post.

Krishnan will also join Hopin’s board. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)