In 2015, a rare allergic reaction forced Johnny Boufarhat to isolate himself indoors for his own health. His frustration and need for human contact drove him to create Hopin, an online events platform that allows meeting participants to network online in novel ways, exchange virtual business cards, and get a summary of their connections after an event. After launching in 2019, Hopin is valued at $7.8 billion and the 27-year-old Boufarhat is one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion. His company has found its success in a unique manner, existing as a fully remote enterprise without a home office or street address.
When the coronavirus pandemic compelled organizations worldwide to shift to hybrid or fully-remote operations, Hopin was waiting to capitalize on the need for reliable online meeting spaces, fueling its large and rapid growth. Before the pandemic, Hopin had six employees; in order to speed up the platform’s launch and maintain its pace of growth, that number quickly grew to more than 800. Its successful launch and subsequent fundraising have made Hopin the fastest-growing European tech startup of all time, reaching a $5 billion valuation in less than 20 months.