E-Trade exec's social network for pro-sumers

Bambi Francisco Roizen · April 18, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1e6

By now, many people have heard of former E-Trade CEO Christos Costakos' new social network called Moli, which was seeded with $20 million in friends and family money as well as a $29.6 million investment from a group of investors in January. After the company's launch at Demo in that month, Judy Balint, Moli's president, said Moli's unique visitors (not pageviews mind you, but uniques) soared to 15.9 million in March. That's quite a surge from the couple hundred thousand at the end of last year. Judy stopped by the Vator studios to talk about Moli's plans. We can expect quite a lot from this company given the amount of money poured into the entire platform, of which Moli is just one part, albeit a significant part. Part of the funds came from Bernard Marcus and Kenneth Langone, the founders of Home Depot, who aren't exactly "strategic" investors from what I gathered from Judy. But, hey, they've got millions to spare. In this interview, Judy, who is also a former E-Trade executive, shares with me her plans to monetize Moli and her plans to differentiate the company from other social networks.

The biggest difference - besides enabling people to have multiple profiles for their family, friends and professional colleagues and manage them under one dashboard - is providing e-commerce tools to enable one-man shops to set up virtual cash registers. Essentially, if you're a small virtual bakery, your customers can place orders on your site. The fully-functioning storefronts cost $3.99 per month, according to Judy.

As for how Moli managed to ignite its traffic and user base, which is some 170,000 members, Judy says it's Moli's "co-branding" strategy. Moli has partnerships with about 10 niche sites. It operates the social network platform for those sites and gives the members of those sites to be part of the greater Moli network. This option to be a part of the entire Moli network makes Moli different from Ning. Learn more about Moli by watching our interview!





Image Description

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Interviews" series

More episodes