There is no stopping for Hopin. The virtual event platform, born in 2019, managed to raise unprecedented levels of capital and closed its first acquisition by the fourth quarter of 2020. In an incredible turn of events, Hopin has now announced the acquisition of StreamYard for $250M — a mix of cash and stock.
The StreamYard brand may not resonate with event planners, but if you have produced virtual events since the pandemic started, you may indeed have used the platform as an alternative to Zoom to give the event a better production level.
StreamYard has seen astronomical demand in the last year, growing from $1 million to $30 million in annual revenue (as a bootstrapped startup). It has more than 3.5 million users and serves over 100,000 paying customers with 10,000+ more joining each month. The company powers millions of broadcasts with a diverse global user base ranging from social media influencers to large corporations.
This is indeed a power move from the London based virtual event company. StreamYard has been the go-to solution for many virtual event platforms that did not offer native live streaming. Still, the company mentioned in their press release that StreamYard will continue to offer its live streaming studio tools to independent content creators as well.
This acquisition potentially gives Hopin the opportunity to cut off many virtual event platforms. Surely the confidence of Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat is something the event industry has rarely seen. Despite having been founded in 2018 and running on only 19 staff, StreamYard is a company boasts an impressive 100,000 paying customers. This is in the top 3 of the acquisitions we have seen in the event industry. When I last spoke to him, Boufarhat was clear he was not going to hold back:
“When I founded Hopin, I wanted to replicate all the best aspects of physical events — from one-on-one networking to exploring an expo — and more. As Hopin became the go-to virtual venue for event organizers, the next product to add was professional-quality video production, so I’ve long had my eye on the advanced studio tools that StreamYard provides,” said Johnny Boufarhat, founder and CEO of Hopin.
“Live streamers love StreamYard for its ease of use, stability, and professional-quality streams, and I am thrilled that we can now easily bring those three pillars to event organizers around the world,” said Geige Vandentop, co-founder and CEO, StreamYard. “We have been integrating with Hopin as a third-party broadcast solution for months and it just makes sense to officially join forces and combine our efforts. At StreamYard, we are now committed to serving the needs of content creators and event producers alike.”
The outcome of this powerful combination is an increased user base for Hopin and the potential to cut off many competitors. Does it justify a $250M acquisition? Only time will tell. Surely things are moving pretty fast in virtual events, and many smaller players that experience immediate growth will be crushed by the weight of companies such as Hopin or Bizzabo with incredible availability of cash to support their growth plans.
We definitely know that pre-pandemic giants Cvent and Eventbrite won’t just watch if the pandemic protracts. Interesting times ahead.