Today I’m super excited to be joining Hopin as part of the Business Operations team. I’ll be taking a break from Consulting at Bain to work on building the world’s best virtual venue for events, and wanted to share some thoughts on what makes the opportunity so unique.
The space itself is just getting started. Benedict Evans recently compared online events to where e-commerce was 20 years ago. There is a need that has been partially met, but nowhere near optimised. As the pandemic brought e-commerce forward by 10 years, Covid has shown what the internet can and must achieve for other types of activity. As our society continues to evolve, there are several opportunities for improving the way people connect in a virtual world.
Access — In 2020, Diversity VC (a non profit I have worked closely with over the last 4 years) took its internship programme online. In 2019, our masterclasses on Venture Capital were delivered to 30 individuals in person. In 2020, we delivered the masterclasses to 400 people, over 10x — and achieved considerably more impact by removing physical barriers. Whilst it’s a challenge to make a connection with someone in a room virtually, it’s impossible if you can’t enter the room to begin with. Accessibility is one of the key aspects to Hopin’s mission, in addition to increasing the environmental sustainability of the industry.
Quality — When done in the right way, the internet can foster meaningful relationships, and Hopin is set to capture connectivity like never before. Having spent too much of my time on Twitter (and more recently in the depths of Clubhouse) I’m continually amazed by what I’ve learned from conversations with people I’ve never met, nor would have a chance of meeting IRL. Hopin’s features such as the carefully crafted networking function have not only reimagined in-person connections, but have also improved the quality of those connections themselves.
Scale — We’re at the cusp of something huge. Events such as Travis Scott’s Fortnite show have brought together over 12 million people. This is a start but a drop in the ocean in terms of what can be achieved, and the ripple effect will continue. Hopin has hosted over 60,000 events with 2.5 million attendees and it’s not even been a year. The applications of video platforms are evolving fast to capture more market segments with interesting intersections such as live-streaming commerce and fuelling the tremendous growth of Discord / Twitch. Hopin is able to seamlessly host events from a 500 person company all hands to a 50,000-person conference, and this is just the beginning.
The problem itself is set to present interesting challenges and opportunities. Underpinning all of the above and most importantly for me, is the opportunity to learn. During my time at Bain, I’ve learned a huge amount about solving problems for large companies and have found B2B enterprise solutions to be some of the most fascinating and impactful projects I’ve worked on. Hopin is a B2B SaaS company in a stage of hyper-growth unlike anything the industry has seen before (achieving an ARR of $20M in 9 months and being the fastest software company in history to reach unicorn status).
Scaling at this pace can present many obstacles including increased complexity around decision making, prioritising a growing set of customer needs, and maintaining the foundational culture of a company with relentless focus. I’m excited to tackle these challenges with an all-star team including Armando and Andrew who have B2B experience from Salesforce / Cisco and from Sabina who has been a part of hyper-growth stage companies (Uber), in addition to bringing my learnings from Bain and Diversity VC.
The Hopin team is fast-growing, fully remote and filled with smart, passionate individuals — eager to collectively solve a problem. I’m looking forward to getting started and being a part of the exciting journey ahead.