Hoop was a successful UK based startup created by a group of parents as a way to take care of their children. Launched in 2016, the platform was an app that connected parents to activities in their locality that their children could attend. From special classes to creative workshops and club activities, Hoop had everything parents would need to ensure that their children were entertained. It even had a rating system and online booking services alongside a catalogue of thousands of activities that were updated daily.
Essentially a babysitting app, Hoop offered assistance to parents of kids ranging from 0-11 years of age. Especially for young parents who did most of their tasks online and through social media, it was a blessing. It was so popular that Apple declared it an “App of the Year” in 2016 as well as in 2017.
The wide popularity was reflected in its early success, during which it raised a total of £8.4 Million through three investment rounds. The last of these rounds were in May 2018. Until late 2019, Hoop had shown no signs of slowing down, with 25-49 employees on the team before what would come later.
The Covid Effect On Hoop
Hoop was an application that connected live, in-person events to families that needed it. The app was used by over 1.5 million families as well as 15,000 event coordinators in the UK. They were a very popular platform, but the pandemic had a disastrous effect on them.
Like any other company that relied on in-person attendance and interactions, the lockdown negatively impacted Hoop as a platform. In 2020, Online bookings started plummeting, and fewer and fewer events were being organized offline. This meant that Hoop saw much less traffic than expected.
Facing a severe cash crunch and a lack of users due to lockdown, Hoop was going downhill. As a last-ditch effort, they introduced online activities for their customer base. However, this was not nearly enough to recuperate their losses and did very little to slow down the inevitable.
On 6th July 2020, Hoop announced its closure. Their website posted a message regarding the situations that led to their shutdown, stating that their revenue generated through bookings had quickly gone down to near zero due to the lockdown. They also clarified the lack of success in searching for ways that would allow their platform to continue.
This was an unfortunate situation of a genuinely successful startup closing down due to Covid-19. The Hoop business model was based on online bookings for live events, and there was no way to work around the lockdown. An event as disruptive as Covid-19 would lead to their demise.