The economic downturn is decimating the event tech sector hard, particularly virtual event tech platforms. This won't be the last round of layoffs as investors lose confidence in the sector.
Event tech company Hopin has significantly reduced its headcount for the second time this year. According to multiple sources, Hopin laid off 242 people today, approximately 29% of its staff.
Hopin was the first major event tech provider to announce a post-pandemic round or layoffs when it let go of 12% of staff in February.
A confidential source confirmed to Skift Meetings that at least two executives were included in the layoffs. One executive impacted is Wei Gao, formerly Hopin’s chief operating officer, who was hired in August 2021. Gao spent 16 years at Amazon, a tenure with included working closely with Jeff Bezos, and was seen key to Hopin’s ambitions to ensure sustainable growth. The other is Javi Ortega Estrada, Hopin’s former chief sales officer and vice president of global sales.
Hopin holds the accolade of being Europe’s fastest growing startup of all time. The company founded in 2019 raised more than $1 billion in several record breaking rounds of funding. At its peak the company was valued at almost $8 billion.
Tech industry commentator Gergely Orosz noted that Hopin’s business had not grown since the February round of layoffs. Orosz also highlights its over reliance on StreamYard, the live streaming studio it acquired for $250 million in January 2021 . StreamYard reportedly accounts for 40 percent of Hopin’s revenue.
Other event tech companies have been impacted by the economic downturn and perfect storm impacting the sector. Bizzabo reduced its headcount by 30% last week and Hubilo let go of around 12% of staff.
This round of layoffs was not as abrupt as the first with employees aware of the cuts for two weeks. Although Hopin has not made any official statements around the layoffs, the company created a Hire a Hopineer site that lists all those who were laid off and links to their LinkedIn profiles.
Hopin has confirmed that former staff member will receive three months of compensation, have the one-year cliff dropped for stock vesting and keep their laptops. They will also keep health benefits and have access to mental health benefits.
UPDATED: This story was updated to include details from a confidential source on the identify of two executives being let go as part of these layoffs. Details of the initiative to help hire past Hopin employees were also added.