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London Tech Week

Unravelling virtual dreams: The rise and fall of Hopin


In a world hungry for connectivity and engagement, London-based virtual event startup Hopin emerged as a beacon of promise. Its innovative event management platform revolutionised the way people interacted in the digital realm, but alas, even the brightest stars can plummet from the sky. The recent acquisition by California-based RingCentral was a pivotal moment, but as the dust settled, it became apparent that the dream had been overshadowed by unforeseen challenges.

Europe’s Zoom rival, Hopin was a London-based sensation, the brainchild of visionary Johnny Boufarhat. It was an all-in-one event platform that defied geographical boundaries, allowing brands, communities, and individuals to create captivating live experiences. With a deep commitment to interactivity and immersion, Hopin changed the game for virtual and hybrid events. Attendees from across the globe could learn, interact, and forge connections in a way that once seemed impossible.

The platform’s crown jewels were Hopin Events and Hopin Session. The former was a versatile toolbox for event organisers, enabling them to orchestrate conferences, networking events, sponsor booths, and more, all within a digital landscape. Attendees could engage in a seamless and interactive manner, bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Hopin Session, on the other hand, transformed mundane meetings into vibrant, personalised engagements, leaving participants enriched and enthralled.

The acquisition

RingCentral’s acquisition of Hopin’s event tech assets was met with anticipation. RingCentral, a cloud-based communication and collaboration giant, aimed to amplify its virtual engagement capabilities through this strategic move. Vlad Shmunis, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of RingCentral, envisioned redefining video communication, offering personalised and engaging meetings and events.

However, as time progressed, cracks began to surface. The promised synergy between Hopin’s prowess and RingCentral’s clout was slow to materialise. The seamless integration of Hopin’s technology into RingCentral’s ecosystem proved to be a complex challenge. The diversity of offerings, which included RingCentral Video, RingCentral Rooms, and RingCentral Webinar, now extended to hosting virtual and hybrid events, created an intricate web that was difficult to navigate.

Moreover, while Hopin had soared on its innovative wings, it had also been carrying a substantial load. The weight of expectation, technological intricacies, and the fast-paced nature of the virtual event landscape took a toll. The enchantment of Hopin’s offerings began to wane as technical glitches and customer dissatisfaction crept in. The initial enchantment transformed into skepticism, and the once-luminous star began to dim.

The mastermind behind

Johnny Boufarhat, the mastermind behind Hopin, expressed his excitement for the future under RingCentral’s wing. But even his enthusiasm couldn’t ward off the storm clouds that gathered. As RingCentral sought to consolidate its video solutions and cater to a wide range of clientele, the core essence of Hopin’s brilliance seemed to dissipate.

In the end, the tale of Hopin serves as a poignant reminder that innovation alone cannot guarantee success. The story illustrates the intricacies of merging two distinctive visions and the challenges of adapting novel technology to an existing ecosystem. The dreams that once seemed unbreakable were eventually confronted by the harsh reality of the business world.

As the curtains fall on Hopin’s chapter, it leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and innovation, along with the lessons that even the brightest stars must navigate the complexities of the universe. The story of Hopin reminds us that in the dynamic landscape of technology and business, success is not assured solely by brilliance; it requires adaptability, synergy, and a keen understanding of the ever-evolving market.

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