THE BLOG

A £1,000 Student Loan and a Freaking Crazy Idea (Part Two)

08/04/2014 13:21 BST | Updated 07/06/2014 10:59 BST

After building roundwaves into a profitable company, Amman talks about funding the next big challenge. Rormix - A platform for discovering emerging music videos.

In the previous post I spoke about turning a £1,000 student loan into a pretty crazy business. Inspired by various business books, my curiosity grew bigger than the risk to losing what was 'a lot' of money to me at the time. Even as startup capital I knew £1,000 would be a serious struggle. By building relationships and cutting deals, my first venture, EasySleepMusic started to grow. With musicians in Peru and El Salvador I built a business model that worked and I could replicate this into brands that produced music for concentration, relaxation, even music for dogs!

Now sitting under the roundwaves.com umbrella, this platform achieves a combined monthly audience of 2.5 million viewers a month and a lot of press coverage.

Growing Curiosity...

Roundwaves.com was a business that was performing well with a tight small team of 4 people in a very chilled out environment (maybe it was the music that made us so chilled).

As we worked closely with YouTube I repeatedly stumbled upon some amazing unsigned/emerging music videos. Artists were creating great videos but these were then getting lost in an ocean of diverse content. Artists are great at making music but maybe marketing seemed to be their pitfall. As an average user, finding great content was difficult on YouTube. This got me thinking... "Would it not be easier to have one platform for this type of specific content which fed me content suited to my taste?"

The idea for Rormix was born.

Myself, Emma and Chris shifted the focus away from Roundwaves to build Rormix but as we had no technical skills needed to prove the concept a little bit so we stuck to what we were good at which is marketing. We started building the Rormix YouTube platform with the knowledge that it would not be as great as Roundwaves but would at least prove the market potential for us to get to the next stage of development.

Once we met our CTO Mark, we knew our co-founding team was complete. We all had the skill sets to give this a full shot. With the revenues from roundwaves.com I knew that I would have to re-invest all of that into Rormix. Even though I was pumping in a large amount of money into Rormix, the fear of loss never outweighed my curiosity.

Ubiquitous computing combined with increased bandwidth and accessibility only enhanced the growth of content consumption via video format. As a result the industry has seen the revival of music videos especially as there is now a solid business model built to support it. We have seen music videos become even more diverse with Pharrell's 24 hour music video to Beyoncé's "visual album". With Vevo's impressive growth supporting music videos from signed artists, it was only a matter of time that unsigned artists would follow the trend.

With cheaper production costs and more unsigned/emerging artists trying to stand out, these artists started leaning towards creating music videos. However, there was no specific platform that would support their music videos, unless they were signed to a major record label. This was an opportunity that we could not ignore.

We decided to go mobile first due to the insane growth in mobile video consumption. I followed the same philosophy from Roundwaves.com, which was "if you wait for the perfect idea, you're too late". We built a basic app in 3 weeks, which was very buggy and released it in October 2013. We then built a relationship with the community to find out what we could do to improve it and as a result Rormix became a product built by music fans. With all of my money going into the main costs of Rormix we hit a serious bottleneck... we had only $10 a day for marketing costs.

What we learnt from Roundwaves allowed us to combine a lot of viral methods, which got us to where we are today.

Rormix has now progressed with a huge user base, 2,000 + music videos, venture capital investment, a partnership with the major UK gyms, being used as a discovery tool by major industry executives and most importantly benefitting the fans and the artists.

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I invested a significant amount of money just to get us to the start line... now the real race begins.

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My Mantra " Lose the fear of loss and then you have nothing to lose"