From left to right: Lunchclub founders Vladimir Novakovski and Scott Wu; Mmhmm founder Phil Libin; Run The World founders Xiaoyin Qu and Xuan Jiang; Hopin founder Johnny Boufarhat. Photos courtesy of the companies.
Startups to Watch
Venture Capital Startups Media/Telecom

Four Startups Helping You Network in a Virtual World

Photo: From left to right: Lunchclub founders Vladimir Novakovski and Scott Wu; Mmhmm founder Phil Libin; Run The World founders Xiaoyin Qu and Xuan Jiang; Hopin founder Johnny Boufarhat. Photos courtesy of the companies.

A new spate of startups is building video communication and virtual event software for the coronavirus era. Backed by venture capital funding and undeterred by Zoom’s dominance, leaders of these nascent firms say they offer more-effective ways to meet new people, host events and communicate with colleagues—tools that will outlast Covid-19.

In our latest installment of Startups to Watch, we profile four of these companies. They include two companies that are trying to capture a slice of the $1 trillion event industry with software geared for virtual events. One firm is trying to add a layer of creativity to daily video calls and another is selling tools to help workers network in this period of social isolation. On the heels of new VC financings, they’re trying to accommodate a massive onslaught of users.

“The product demand is unimaginable,” Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat said in an interview.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
What TikTok Ban Means for Google, Facebook, Apple: The Information’s Tech Briefing

The Trump administration’s order to ban new downloads of TikTok and WeChat has raised an important question for the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix: Should they file a legal challenge to the order?

Banning foreign-owned apps has near-term implications for Apple, which faces the prospect that iPhone owners who rely on WeChat to communicate with friends or family in ...

Latest Briefs
 
Unity Software Sees 30% Surge in Stock After IPO
NBCU Reaches Deal with Roku for Carrying Peacock
U.S. to Ban New TikTok, WeChat Downloads Starting Sept. 20
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Exclusive Enterprise COVID-19
Zoom Invests in Big Messaging Upgrade in Challenge to Slack
Zoom Video Communications became a household name with a video conferencing service that has become a ubiquitous tool for businesses and students during the pandemic.
True Value Startups Markets
Five New Software Stocks: Why Investors Love Some and Hate Others
Five enterprise software companies are going public this month, cashing in on the sector’s enormous popularity with investors.
The Takeaway
Virtual Events and Why I Am Never Going Back
A week ago, I spent a Friday evening quite nervous that our second The Information WTF conference—virtual, of course—would fall flat.
Exclusive Policy Google
In Ironic Twist, Google’s Pro-Privacy Move Boosted U.S. Antitrust Probe
Google has taken a lot of heat for violating people’s privacy. Now it could get in trouble for trying to protect it.
Org Charts Asia
The People With Power at TikTok Owner Bytedance
ByteDance, owner of the powerhouse social media app TikTok that is caught up in the U.S.-China trade and cybersecurity war, has been busy restructuring itself as it looks to duplicate TikTok’s success internationally with some of its newer apps, according to new data viewed by The Information.
Exclusive Google Enterprise
With TikTok Deal, Oracle Could Gain Billion-Dollar Cloud Customer
Oracle’s deal to act as TikTok’s new “trusted technology partner” could be worth more than $1 billion in potential revenue annually for Oracle’s cloud business in the coming years, according to previously undisclosed data viewed by The Information.