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Johnny + Hopin: Jumping on the opportunity Covid presented

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

  • As of Apr 2020

  • "The problem was virtual events had been around 12 yrs but sucked". Hopin looking to solve that problem while focusing on networking, engagement and interactivity. Events is a $1T industry. $400B is business events. More accessible, better for the environment, easier to collect emails and analyze data.

  • Venue space online. Stage for main event. Sessions for smaller groups. Networking for 1-1. Expo area to showcase sponsors.

  • Timeline

    • 2018: first line of code. Built on gut, intuition.

    • Sep 2019: 8 devs. First $s of revenue while in pvt beta from a speed dating site.

    • Dec 2019: started conversation with Accel. 80K organizer waitlist. 10% of attendees would become organizers. Took them 10 mins to set up their own event. Compare with in-person events which were hard to assemble. Had demonstrated product was viral even though ~$0 ARR.

    • Apr 2020: closed $7M funding pre-revenue with Accel. No discussion around Coronavirus yet. 23 engineers and 38 full team. 11 sales. 4 joined previous week.

    • Jan 2021: 200 people in 34 countries. NATO, UN, WSJ, Slack customers. 73% turnout rate (vs 22% webinar attendance rate).

  • All of the action happened between funding being raised and 3 weeks into Covid-19.

    • Went from $0 ARR to $1.8M ARR

    • Realized that with Covid people needed a tool like this, or they'd use Zoom and decide that virtual events suck.

    • 180K waitlist. 1000 signups/day on website -> 150 that filled out Typeform (questions like industry, company and event size, type of event, etc) -> passed to Clearbit for leadqual. Only 2000 given access until that time, and 1200 paying customers.

    • All types of events from conferences to hackathons, meetups and gym nights.

    • $99 self serve plan which included 1 organizer and 100 attendees. $0.50 for each additional attendee. More expensive enterprise plan

    • Large "$1M customers" were double edged swords. Big $ on the one hand, but needy on the other (took 6 Hopin FTEs to run the event). Small events didn't need dedicated infra and weren't needy (group onboarding events 2x/wk) but generated less $.

  • Gross burn $400K/mo, net burn $140K/mo. Churn 11%/mo because Covid was making everything too chaotic. Both growth and churn expected to settle down.

  • PBP 3 months, ie, took $300 of hosting expense before $99/mo paid off.

  • Ruby on rails, React, Postgres, Amazon (including video tech stack)

  • Vision: AR, VR, integrations (Kahoot, Miro, etc).

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