WooMe cuts cost to extend life

Bambi Francisco Roizen · November 10, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/504

CEO Stokols of online introductory site says he's slowing it down a bit to wait for a recovery

It remains a pretty crappy economic environment out there. More than 400 companies of the S&P 500 Index have reported results for the third quarter. All told, earnings per share are on track to fall close to 14% from last year, making this the five straight quarter of declines.

To this end, startups remain prudent.

Stephen Stokols, CEO of WooMe, is one of those entrepreneurs who's been through a downturn before. He's not going to make the mistake of burning too much cash before the market improves to possibly raise another round or exit.

"We raised $12.5 million at a Series B, and that money was going to take us 18 months," he said. "We're cutting costs and slowing down a bit of the trajectory to take it out to 24 months."

The reality is, he said, that the exit market may not be here in 24 months.

Of course, Stokols isn't all gloom and doom. He's an optimist and opportunist.

"Don't overreact," he said. "You've got to make it happen... put the petal to the metal." Basically, you can't just go flat for 24 months and in the end have nothing to show for it. 

And, finally, the biggest lesson Stokols has learned from the downturn is that it ends.

"As bad as it is," he said. "Things get rosy again."


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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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WooMe is an online speed dating platorm that leverages cutting edge in-browser voip and video technology to enable users to meet new people in a fast, fun and free fashion. Meet five people in five minutes in live topical speed sessions such as "Vator.tv lovers in Los Angeles."

WooMe brings the speed dating craze online and extends it to let users meet new people live in fast, fun and free speed sessions. There are no long forms or lengthy profile descriptions, simply find a session that interests you and meet 5 people in 5 minutes. Or, create your own sessions based on your interests, such as "TechCrunch Readers in San Fran". Invite friends or strangers to play with you and immediately decide if you are woo'd by someone. WooMe's in-browser video and voice capability delivers a live interactive experience where users play for fun, to hook up, or just meet new people around shared interests. There are no tedious profiles, no software to download, and best of all it's free.

Backed by Niklas Zennström's (Skype Founder) Atomico Investments, the original investors in Skype (Mangrove Capital), and Klaus Hommels (Europe's Investor of the Year, 2006), WooMe is catapulting the $1 billion+ speed dating market into the online world. With WooMe, meeting people online is transformed into a live interactive experience that makes sifting through contrived profiles a thing of the past.

Founded in 2006, WooMe's management team has experience in bringing innovative web applications to market for companies including: AltaVista, CMGI, BT, Accenture, Qwest, Shopzilla, Trilogy. Stephen Stokols, Co-Founder/CEO, successfully sold an internet start-up and went on to become BT's youngest VP, growing their eCommerce revenues over 300% to over $1bn in his first 12 months. George Berkowski, Co-Founder/Product Director, brings extensive technical and marketing experience in the online space and in outer space (he played a role in sending the first tourist to the Space Station).




Stephen Stokols

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