Why a focus on profits is critical

Bambi Francisco Roizen · October 19, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/249

Hi5 CEO Ramu Yalamanchi made money with seed round

(Note: hi5, a popular social network, is laying off 10% to 15% of its staff, according to reports. Here's an interview I did with Ramu this summer. It was first published on Jun 5, 2008. It's very appropriate given that hi5 has always been focused on the bottom line.) 

Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of the social network hi5, executed on his business plan in a way that makes angel investors drool.

Starting in 2003, he took a $250,000 seed round and within three years got the company profitable with just five employees.

"One of the things we did very early on was focus on getting to profitability," Yalamanchi says.

Today hi5 has 80 million registered users, three-quarters of whom are under age 24 and 80% of whom are outside the U.S. The company is especially popular with users who don't use other networks, in countries like Portugal, Romania and Thailand.

hi5 raised $20 million in venture funding last year, and another $15 million in January from Hercules Technology

In this interview with Vator.tv's Bambi Francisco, Yalamanchi says he learned persistence from his father, who "went through business after business after business" before finally finding success.

hi5 is finding success with Open Social, the common development platform for social networks, with one million new installs daily across 700 applications.
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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.

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hi5 Networks, Inc. is a privately-held firm headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Its flagship service, hi5, was launched in 2003 and is now one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing social networks — ranked by Alexa® as a top 20 website globally and the #1 social network in 25 countries across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa (the #3 social network worldwide). More than 80 million people in over 200 nations are currently registered for hi5, which is available in 23 language options (with more to come). Individuals use hi5 to stay connected and share information with friends and family around the world, meet new people, express themselves, and discover social linkages throughout their lives. For more information, please visit http://www.hi5.com or http://www.hi5networks.com.