When you hear the name CollegeHumor, you might think of the media company whose viral sketch videos have titles like “If Google Was A Guy.”
You probably don’t think of an $8B+ public software company.
Believe it or not, Vimeo started off as a CollegeHumor spinoff
In 2004, developers Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein built Vimeo as a side project while working at Connected Ventures, CollegeHumor’s parent company.
After Google acquired YouTube for $1.65B later that year, IAC realized its luck and shifted focus toward Vimeo with the goal of making a high-quality, curated YouTube competitor.
But the market was too small
Vimeo considered investing in original content to spur growth, but Anjali Sud, then director of marketing, thought it was a bad idea.
Sud pitched IAC’s CEO on building video software for businesses, similar to what GoDaddy and Squarespace did for websites. The pitch landed her the CEO job.
That launched Vimeo’s shift to SaaS
Vimeo has since built out a suite of production tools for:
- Mom and pop stores to generate high-quality social media video content
- Creators to build subscription streaming platforms
- Fortune 500 companies to securely broadcast content in ultra-high quality
Vimeo went public earlier this week with 200m+ users and 1.6m paying subscribers. The company generated $89.4m in Q1 2021 revenue, +57% YoY.
(Little-known fact: Vimeo’s founders got the idea for Vimeo after they saw CollegeHumor’s video of Ashley Simpson’s 2004 SNL lip-syncing debacle go viral.)
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