When people hear about Vimeo today, some immediately think of it as a YouTube rival, but the majority may have no idea what the service really is. Vimeo has faced multiple struggles throughout its journey, which is primarily due to its giant competitors like YouTube and Netflix.
However, one lady was instrumental in transforming Vimeo’s fortunes to the point that the business is now open to the public. Meet Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud, who made it all happen and saved Vimeo from catastrophe to have it listed on the NASDAQ recently. Keep reading to learn all about Anjali Sud.
Anjali Sud is the daughter of Indian emigrants and was born on August 13, 1983, in Detroit, Michigan. She is the eldest of 3 children, with an older brother and a younger sister to look after. When Sud was younger, she preferred the performing arts, however as she got older, she gravitated toward a career in business.
Her father owns a plastics recycling firm in Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of actor Terry Crews, and she saw firsthand how a company can create employment while simultaneously doing good in the community.
Following her inspiration, Sud enrolled at Phillips Academy Andover, an exclusive prep school that has produced famous alumni such as actor Jack Lemmon as well as former President George W. Bush. In 2005, Sud finished her graduation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management. At some point in the future, she attended Harvard Business School and earned a Master’s Degree.
The year was 2014, and Anjali joined Vimeo, which had just been twelve years old at the time. The business was also competing with the likes of YouTube and Netflix, two digital titans who were (and presumably still are) at the height of their powers and offered a better option.
They also invested significantly in their own material, as she disclosed in an interview with The Verge’s Nilay Patel. However, she said they couldn’t compete with Netflix’s original programming since doing so would cost $17 billion. People also used to think of YouTube as a “hard to break habit,” as a one-stop entertainment option.
When asked why she didn’t apply for the CEO job, Sud revealed that she had never ever heard of it. However, as she rose through the ranks at Vimeo and began to direct, the rest of the business began to see her immense talent and the power she had to help the company expand.
She envisioned Vimeo as a place where companies could create their own films without being sucked into the YouTube muck. Video may be shot, edited, saved, and distributed by business owners using the platform. It’s a lot like YouTube these days, except it caters to a narrower demographic.
The business made a lot of money as a result of Sud’s modifications. A 54% increase in revenue was recorded by Vimeo in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The website’s user base grew by 1.5 million subscribers in the first quarter of this year, associated with the same period in 2020. Vimeo’s value has increased dramatically since Anjali Sud became CEO a short time ago.
As there are no ads in the videos on the site, corporate clients don’t have to be concerned about their films being monetized by competitors. Vimeo’s internal studio has been shuttered as the company shifted its focus to software and business support. They’ve abandoned their streaming service. The firm and Sud have come to the conclusion that they have no business competing with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
While building the foundation for this new hybrid workplace, Sud anticipates video to have even more of a presence. She aspires to enhance the interactivity of online gatherings and events.
Giving non-technical assistance to small companies to help them move into the digital era. To assist small companies and content producers create films, she considered taking Vimeo in a different route by making it more of a toolset-based platform.
Her goal, according to Forbes, is to make video the same way Squarespace and GoDaddy made websites: accessible to small companies with no technical know-how.
She went straight to Joey Levin, CEO of Vimeo’s parent business, with her concept and presented it to him. The concept appealed to Levin, and she quickly put up a small group to begin implementing it.
This year they witnessed a substantial increase in income over the previous year since the software solution was available in no time. Vimeo reported $84 million in revenue in 2020, a 54% increase over the previous year. Currently, the site has over 200 million users, of whom 1.5 million are paying subscribers. In 2017, she was appointed CEO.
Matt Harrison is Anjali Sud’s spouse, and they have a kid, Saavan, who was born in 2018 to them both. Her younger brother, Rohan, and her younger sister, Anisha, are her younger siblings. The Instagram handle of Sud is @anjsud, where she chronicles her lavish lifestyle in photos and videos.
Sud has a strong relationship with her father, whom she confided in for guidance on a regular basis to Business Insider. “Experience outside of your relaxation zone” and “set yourself in circumstances where you may not have a lot of experience,” she says is the greatest advice her father ever gave her, according to her. This counsel encouraged her to apply for a job at Vimeo, where she quickly rose through the ranks thanks to her abilities and ability. He phoned his father as soon as he found out he had been given the CEO job at Vimeo.
The majority of Sud’s fortune came from her position as Vimeo’s CEO. Anjali is also on the board of Dolby Laboratories and has worked for Amazon. As a result, the estimated net worth of Anjali Sud is $5 million.
Vimeo, the video-hosting platform run by Indian-American chief executive officer Anjali Sud, went public on the NASDAQ on May 25 after being spun out from IAC/InterActiveCorp. When Sud announced the company’s IPO in a blog post on www.vimeo.com, she said that “dreams do come true.”
According to Sud’s post on his blog, the company’s creation, turnaround, innovation, and scaling has taken place over the course of 16 years. “This has been a labor of love on our part,” he said.
There have been several changes in our organization throughout the years. However, our faith in the potential of video has remained constant. We prioritize artists and provide millions of people access to high-quality video content. We created a cutting-edge software platform, as well as a vibrant online community and a successful company,” she said. According to Sud, he has never felt more proud of a bunch of individuals.
However, Vimeo, a competitor to YouTube, experienced a 12.85% decrease in its stock price on the first day of trade. Nasdaq listed Vimeo shares as “VMEO” and started trading. Shares dropped from $52.08 on May 24 to $45.39 on Friday. Variety estimates the company’s current market value at $8.5 billion.
Vimeo said in January that it had secured $300 million in fresh equity financing, valuing the company at $5.7 billion pre-money, Variety reported. As a consequence of the separation, IAC stockholders now own a direct stake in Vimeo. According to the report, IAC owners got 1.6235 VIMEO shares for each share of IAC they owned as of May 24th’s end of business.
There are 11 public businesses that have been spun out from IAC, according to Vimeo, including Match Group, Expedia and LendingTree as well as HSN and Ticketmaster. In the future, there will be a lot more to do.” To remain connected, productive, and informed in the wake of a worldwide epidemic, video became a need—a necessity for companies to succeed. However, Sud said on his blog that “there is still so much more to conceive and construct.
This new style of working may be brought about via video. Video has the potential to open up whole new company models and income sources. Vimeo’s CEO emphasized that video can help any company succeed, regardless of its size or level of experience. From changing our platform into a team-first experience to envisioning virtual events in the future, we see potential wherever we turn.” As a result, we’ll keep pushing the envelope of innovation with a sense of urgency. Until the power of video is available to everyone, we won’t stop.
“It’s an honor to lead Vimeo into the future on behalf of our 850 team members working from home on laptops across the world today. In the blog, Sud wrote, “Our work of love continues. Companies and individual producers may use Vimeo’s video toolset. According to Variety, it had over 200 million users and 1.6 million paid members as of the end of March, up 25% over the previous year.
According to Vimeo’s Q1 2021 earnings report, revenue was $89.4 million, up 57% from the previous year, with a net profit of $3.3 million. According to the report, the New York-based firm had $316 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31 and no debt. At its May 5 investor meeting, Vimeo informed investors that it expects a loss for the entire year on an adjusted EBITDA basis in 2021 and that it would raise its spending in that year as well.
A 40 percent increase in sales year-over-year is expected in the second quarter, followed by a 30 percent decline until the end of 2021 and an acceleration in 2022 “when the investments from this year start to show benefits,” according to CFO Narayan Menon, as reported by Variety.
Filmmakers Spike Lee and George C. Wolfe joined Vimeo’s board of directors, along with Sud and IAC CEO Joey Levin, in April (chairman of Vimeo). In 2006, IAC acquired Connected Ventures for $26 million, a group of companies whose primary appeal was CollegeHumor, and as a result, Vimeo became part of IAC.
In 1983, Sud was born in Detroit, Michigan, to an Indian American family. In 1997, she moved to Andover, Massachusetts, to attend Phillips Andover Academy. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her bachelor’s in finance and management in 2005, was followed by Harvard Business School, where she earned her master’s in 2011. Before moving to Vimeo in 2014, she worked at Sagent Advisors, Amazon, and Time Warner in financial, media, and e-commerce positions.
#1. Lean in early and take a strong lead in international expansion – even now. International revenue accounts for 50% of Vimeo’s total income. Anjali’s most important takeaway from going global is to start with a strong GM and a small team in each major geo. Even in this dispersed era, having local leaders customizing the offering and controlling the client connection is essential. That is as essential today as it has ever been.
#2. You Must Leave Some Money on the Table If You Want to Do Free, Self-Serve, and Enterprise Well. Those of us who have managed businesses that are free, self-serve, or sales-driven are all familiar with this conflict. Sales wants to monetize accounts as soon as possible. However, by doing so, you cut off a portion of your long tail and your pool of supporters. Anjali is being patient in this situation.
#3. Invest heavily in partnerships, embedded use cases, and APIs. Even if the immediate revenue is nothing. Vimeo’s latest collaboration with Asana generates no direct income for the company. Asana customers can utilize Vimeo to capture, share, and manage high-quality video within Asana for free, with no upgrade barriers. The game here is that if customers want to utilize that material outside of Asana, they may have to pay to upgrade. Even if it takes years to produce any substantial income, Vimeo wants to control those connections and relationships.
#4. It’s still a land grab in so many SaaS and Cloud segments. Anjali views so many places as land grabs that aren’t completely serviced since the video is still so underutilized. Zoom, for example, may have a strong presence in web conferencing, therefore they do not compete there. However, they view webinars, for example, as a fast-expanding area that has the potential to grow significantly from here. Many markets still have a lot of potential to expand.
#5 You must maintain quality while reducing costs. Vimeo increased its pre-IPO gross margins to 70%, which is remarkable for a business with high hosting expenses. Even more remarkable was the ability to do so while improving video quality. The key was placing a team of their top engineers in charge of working out a clear margin KPI and finding a method to accomplish it while not just maintaining but also improving quality and user experience.
#6. Rejoice in your victories. Celebrating victories was also important in increasing gross margins and other metrics. As founders, we don’t always do enough of this. They held large company-wide celebrations after exceeding their gross margin and cost targets. This pumped everyone up.
#7. Data is the key to scaling Enterprise and Free-to-Paid Self-Service upgrades. Vimeo is still in its early stages, but having the data that identifies the potential is critical to maximizing customer-centric upgrades and leads for sales. This is a lot of work that is still in process.
#8. Choose a Market with a Distinctive Product — and a Moat. A video platform may grow in a variety of ways, and Vimeo does have a lot of products available now. They don’t, however, carry it everywhere. They only grow in areas where they genuinely think they have a distinct offering as well as a moat. However, that moat may be branded.
#9: Conversions outside the United States are half the rate in the United States. This was fascinating. Anjali saw this as a key area for improving their KPIs, with self-service converting at half the rate of paid outside the United States. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder that tactics vary across geographies and need their own staff.
#10: Specialize your teams earlier and more thoroughly. Anjali looks back and recognizes what so many of us have learned: early specialization benefits. Having several product teams early would have helped her since they had disparate use cases, customers, and personas.
Dolby Laboratories is presently paying Anjali Sud $181,004 in salary. Her yearly compensation as CEO of Vimeo, as well as her precise total net worth, have not been disclosed.
During her early career, she attempted everything from online diaper marketing to investment banking until landing a position at Vimeo as a vice president and head of global marketing in 2014, before becoming the company’s CEO in July 2017.
Anjali Sud married her husband, Matt. It’s still unclear where they initially met. However, the pair seems to be very compatible, and they must have dated for some time prior to their marriage. They are now the parents of a boy called Savaan. The couple adores him, despite the fact that he is just two years old. He has also begun his education.
In November 2020, owing to increased demand for Vimeo’s services as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, IAC secured US$150 million for the subsidiary in preparation of spinning it out as its own business, giving Vimeo a US$2.75 billion value.
Vimeo was established in 2004 by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein as a spin-off of CollegeHumor to distribute comedy films among coworkers, but it was placed on hold to support CollegeHumor’s increasing popularity. IAC purchased CollegeHumor and Vimeo in 2006, and when Google purchased YouTube for more than US$1.65 billion, IAC focused more effort on Vimeo to compete with YouTube, concentrating on delivering selected content and high-definition video to differentiate itself from other video sharing sites.
By 2009, Lodwick and Klein had departed, and IAC had established a more corporate-focused structure to expand Vimeo’s services, with current CEO Anjali Sud in place since July 2017.
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive bio on Anjali Sud and were inspired by her sheer determination to turn the tides and truly be a one-woman army. To learn more about other notable personalities, keep reading Seema.