Hopin targets hybrid, in-person events with Boomset buy

FILE PHOTO: Attendees are seen inside the Festival Hall during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Hopin, a British-based provider of events, said on Wednesday it has bought an in-person event company Boomset to help clients plan, produce and share events whether hybrid, physical or virtual.

The global video conferencing and events market received a boost after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a mass shift to online working, learning and socialising. Companies, such as Cisco, Microsoft, Zoom and Hopin saw the number of meeting participants skyrocket.

Hopin's platform allows meeting participants to network online in new ways, exchange virtual business cards, and get a summary of their connections after an event.

With Boomset, Hopin will expand beyond online to offer services such as issuing badges, self-service kiosks, QR code check-in, cashless payments for in-person gatherings.

"For organisers that use us, it's no longer a question of what do I use with Hopin, but rather just using Hopin for almost everything," Chief Executive Johnny Boufarhat said in an interview.

While in-person events have largely ceased since the pandemic, Mobile World Congress, one of the world's biggest industry conferences, is trying to organize https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-mobileworld-analys-idCAKCN2D50Y3 one later this month in Barcelona.

Hopin did not disclose the purchase price for Boomset, which counts Facebook and Target among its customers, but said it was in the tens of millions, much less than the $250 million it paid for video streaming studio StreamYard in January.

The company raised $400 million in March, taking its valuation to $5.65 billion. Founded in 2019, Hopin had raised https://www.reuters.com/article/hopin-fundraising-idINL3N2L224S $6.5 million in February last year, $40 million in June and $125 million in November.

Hopin, which has more than 100,000 customers, Poshmark, American Express, and The Financial Times, was profitable last year.

"We have over $450 million in the bank ... there's always potential that we would do another round by the end of the year," Boufarhat said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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