In the first of such moves, Hopin has just announced the acquisition of the event mobile app Topi.
The move is particularly interesting for Hopin, a virtual native company, who is getting more aggressive at tackling the in-person market and the consequential hybrid format of the next few years.
Topi comes from face-to-face events. It is a mobile app focused on connecting individuals at live events. Topi co-founder and CEO David Aubespin will join the company as VP of Product. Topi’s other co-founder, Eric Sellin, will be principal engineer for the development of the mobile solutions.
In a blog post, Aubespin confirms the intention to make the two platforms work together to connect online and offline audiences:
“Today, I’m excited to see the technology and vision of Topi merging with Hopin, to power the future of hybrid events. Johnny Boufarhat, Hopin’s founder and CEO, told me that he wants to see the progress my team has made continue to flourish under the Hopin brand and that together we’ll invent new ways of gathering and better ways of connecting the world.”
The choice of Topi is surely an interesting one for Hopin. The app has been focused on networking in an interface that resembles the style that Hopin uses for its virtual event platform. Surely there is more than a design fit.
An engineering, client, and culture fit seems to be the basis for the acquisition:
“The technology we built leverages advanced geo-fencing, deep social media integration, and smart ranking algorithms to enable users to discover others with shared interests, make new connections, and create communities that transcend location. Whether you are attending events in person or online, our mobile platform delivers the same value and experience for all attendees.”
This news starts a brand new M&A season, probably one the event industry has never experienced. With news about a new Covid-19 strain once again impacting travel, 2021 seems to be heading towards more virtual.
As virtual tech companies gain clients and funding, they will look at effective ways to quickly augment their offerings. It is what Cisco did by acquiring Slido, we can expect Zoom, Bizzabo and others to join the party very soon.