August 2, 2023

Johnny Boufarhat steps down as CEO of Hopin

The startup, which was once the fastest-growing in Europe, has also sold its flagship product

Amy Lewin

2 min read

Johnny Boufarhat is stepping down as CEO of British events scaleup Hopin.

The company has also sold its original product — the Hopin events platform — to US listed SaaS company RingCentral. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Badri Rajasekar, Hopin's chief technology and product officer, will take over as CEO of Hopin next month, the company announced in a blog post today.

Hopin was the fastest European company to ever hit unicorn status when it raised a $400m Series C round at a $5.65bn valuation in 2021, less than two years after it launched. 


It went on to acquire several other businesses, including Streamyard, a video streaming platform, which it bought in 2021 for $250m. That product, Sifted sources say, is now the company’s biggest revenue-driver. The Streamyard product is not part of the RingCentral deal.

Hopin’s investors include Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, IVP, Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Global, Seedcamp and Accel.

Since the pandemic, the company has struggled. In 2022, it did several rounds of layoffs and saw its headcount drop by half, from 1,100 employees in January to 505 in December 2022, according to data gathered by Synaptic.

Hopin’s UK company accounts are also way overdue. The last accounts it filed were for the year to January 2021. It was meant to file accounts for the year to January 2022 at the start of this year; they are now seven months late. 

Sifted has reached out to Hopin for comment.

What stays, what goes

Alongside the Hopin "Event" hosting platform, RingCentral has also acquired Hopin’s "Session" interactive meetings product and a set of onsite event management tools called Boomset, which Hopin acquired in 2021.

Session is a product which Hopin originally acquired with a company called Jamm, which Badri founded.

The teams working on those products will also move to RingCentral, according to an email sent to customers by Hopin today.

Taking money off the table

Boufarhat — who has already sold $195m of his shares in the company, according to FT analysis — will remain on Hopin's board. Earlier this year, he made it onto the Sunday Times’ annual rich list, worth £1.7bn (on paper). 

Hopin's record as the fastest unicorn was broken just weeks later by German speedy grocery company Gorillas — another scaleup that has struggled in recent months.

Update: This piece was updated on August 2 to add that Boufarhat is stepping down as Hopin CEO.

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn