Virtual event software records decline from pandemic glory

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Virtual event software companies that saw their valuations soar during the pandemic are now facing a reckoning as the world returns to in-person events.

Hopin, which was once valued at $7.8 billion, sold its virtual event software to RingCentral for just $15 million in the past two weeks. Founder Johnny Boufarhat is also stepping down as CEO. The company is now focused on video streaming and has a valuation closer to $400 million. Smaller competitor Run the World sold to EventMobi for an undisclosed amount. The startup raised $15 million from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund.

Simultaneously, Founder Johnny Boufarhat, who had secured $200 million secondary funding in 2021, has declared his departure as CEO. The company’s attention has now shifted towards the realm of video streaming, accompanied by a revaluation that now places it at approximately $400 million.

These deals are a sign that the hype around virtual events has faded as the world returns to normal. In the early days of the pandemic, it seemed like virtual events would be the future of conferences and meetings. But as people have become vaccinated and more comfortable gathering in person, the demand for virtual events has declined.

This is not to say that virtual events are dead. They will still have a place in the world, but they are no longer the only option. Companies that want to host events will need to offer a hybrid solution that allows people to attend in person or virtually.

The sources for this piece include an article in Axios.

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