Our investment in Hopin: Connecting people
At Accel we have a long history of backing platforms that bring people closer together. We were seed or Series A investors in Facebook and Slack, and we have been working with Miro, the online visual collaboration tool, since 2017. Within this theme, one trend we’ve seen explode is for distributed teams, as our companies prioritise finding the best talent, regardless of where it’s based. It was therefore no surprise that we knew Hopin was the type of product we’d want to invest in and help to grow from our very first meeting with founder, Johnny Boufarhat.
Hopin is an all-in-one online platform for live events of any kind - from company all hands meetings to online community gatherings and large-scale conferences and events (Think: Hopin could have hosted Mobile World Congress online, so they didn’t have to cancel!). We’re excited to be leading Hopin’s seed round as its product, mission and vision really resonated with us.
It resonated because we know from our portfolio companies that effectively setting up and managing distributed teams is crucial to their businesses, but also a pain point. Getting it right is difficult, yet the distributed trend is only going to grow.
Another entrepreneur we’ve backed, Daniel Dines, the CEO of UiPath, likes to have all hands meetings with the entire company. Given they have 15 offices across the globe, this is no trivial feat with the tools that are currently available – but there’s a solution in Hopin. It’s no wonder that Daniel joined this round together with other angels who are founders and executives from other fast-growth, international companies, like Ilkka Paananen from Supercell, Des Traynor from Intercom, Carlos Gonzalez from GoCardless and Andrey Khusid from Miro.
Another reason it resonated with us is because, as venture capitalists in Europe, we travel all the time. The number of tech hubs here has exploded, and the next big thing could really start in any city in any country. We want to make sure we get to find it early. This level of travel takes a toll with time. We want to attend some of the great events and conferences across the continent, but they can be hard to fit into a packed travel schedule – and add to our carbon footprint. How perfect would it be to hop in and out of the sessions from the comfort of our home, office, hotel room, or wherever we happen to be?
Hopin’s ability to bring people together did not just resonate with us, it is reflected in the early traction, of the product, and the impressive level of virality it’s been seeing. Although it’s still early days, awareness of the product has spread like wildfire, and its waiting list is over 10k strong.
Most importantly, we back people. Johnny's vision for changing the world one event at a time is contagious. He wants to build something big, he wants to do it quickly, he is mission-driven and he cares about the environment.
Johnny, welcome to the Accel family, and thank you for allowing us to hop in (I couldn’t help it)!