Hopin, an 18-month-old virtual events startup now valued at a whopping $2.1 billion, has acquired live video streaming studio StreamYard in a deal worth $250 million. This is the second acquisition Hopin has made in the past three weeks, after snapping up event tech company Topi last month, momentum that points to consolidation in the fast-growing online events space.

Although physical events are likely to resume whenever the global pandemic is finally brought under control, the consensus is that online events will remain as part of a hybrid model. Indeed, virtual conferences and meetups not only help businesses scale their events and enhance accessibility, they also generate a wealth of valuable data that is difficult to replicate in a brick-and-mortar venue — this includes tracking attendee engagement and correlating specific meetings or keynotes with a desired outcome, such as a new sale or connection. This is why myriad virtual events platforms raised substantial sums of cash from a slew of high-profile investors in 2020, and it’s why Hopin is bolstering its own platform to stand out in an increasingly busy space.

Above: StreamYard

Founded out of Tualatin, Oregon in 2018, StreamYard is a browser-based studio that allows users to stream professional-grade live video directly to Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, among other platforms. Although Hopin already provides its own native video streaming studio, the company has allowed its users to ingest streams from third-party incarnations such as YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, and StreamYard, with the latter proving the most popular, according to Hopin. “Even the Hopin team found themselves using StreamYard and recommending that organizers use StreamYard as well to make their events even more professional and engaging,” the company told VentureBeat in a statement.

Moving forward, Hopin will replace its own built-in video streaming studio with StreamYard as the default option for all live stages. The integration is expected to be complete in the first half of 2021.

StreamYard had not raised any external investments in its two-and-a-half-year existence and has just 19 employees. Its $250 million price tag puts it at the higher end of the startup-exit spectrum. However, the fact that StreamYard had grown its annual recurring revenues (ARR) to more than $30 million by the end of 2020, with 100,000 paying customers, apparently convinced Hopin to dig deep to gain both the technology and StreamYard’s existing customers.

Hopin itself has only raised $171 million in its short history, meaning the transaction was a mix of cash and stock.

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