TiE UK North are proud to introduce Rormix, one of the hottest music start-ups in the UK – and one of the newest tenants at our Founders Dock incubator at Spinningfields.
To learn more about Rormix, we spoke to their CEO Amman Ahmed, but first… let’s get to know the entrepreneur behind the company:
- Which entrepreneur do you most respect? Tony Hsieh
- Which company do you most respect? Zappos
- What technology do you think will disrupt the world in the next 5 years? In-video native advertising
- What was the last book you read? 50th Law
- What piece of technology could you not live without? My phone
- Your favourite way to relax? Watching Space Documentaries.
- One word to describe yourself? Hustler
Q: Can you tell us about your start up?
[Amman Ahmed] Rormix is a platform for discovering emerging music videos. If I was to make some sort of comparison I would say it is the unsigned version of Vevo, or the YouTube of unsigned music videos.
I bootstrapped the idea, the team and the product by pumping all the revenues from my previous startup to prove the concept. We just got VC funding in April and launched our native apps in the same month in which we have seen really good growth.
What makes Rormix is unique is that we only allow high quality content onto the platform and then tag the content so it makes discovery easy. In the future we aim to reward the user for their level of contribution to the community, and also have a unique revenue sharing model in place with the artist.
Q: Where did your idea come from, and how did you get started?
[Amman Ahmed] It was an idea that came around June 2012 when for the first time I was in my living room laying down and had no access to the internet all evening as it was down. It was just a concept that had a lot of pivots, etc until around April 2013 I really started to put effort into it.
I had a team that was working on growing my profitable first startup – roundwaves.com – but I was only 80% passionate about that. Rormix was called Rorbeat at the time and our aim was to replicate the multi-channel network model that I had build with roundwaves.com We then become a full team in August 2013 in which we pivoted to ignoring YouTube and building our own platform.
Q: What are your ambitions for your start up?
[Amman Ahmed] We are in a very unique space in which more people are going to specialised video sites for a unique experience. With the recent acquisition of Twitch.tv by YouTube for $1b you can see from an exit point of view why fragmentation is going to worry the big players. It’s already happened in social media with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.
We aim to be the central location for discovery of exclusive unsigned content that rewards the users and rewards the artist.
Q: What are your most important tips for a start up?
[Amman Ahmed] Don’t be scared. Curiosity should always be more powerful than fear. I am not an expert, I just make it up as I go along. Create a bunch of small projects, experiment and have fun. Eventually all the dots will connect and everything you learn from failure will look like a lesson that gives you the skills to build the thing you are passionate about.
Q: What has been your entrepreneurial journey, and what does entrepreneurship mean to you?
[Amman Ahmed] It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to be an entrepreneur as I come from a family who all have their own businesses. I wanted to have a career first, then maybe start my business when I was in my 40s. After reading books like The Four Hour Work Week, Rich Dad Poor Dad and many more it then hit me, I have to do this NOW. I did not know what business I was going to start or how I was going to start it but it had to be done ASAP.
[Amman Ahmed] I think everyone is different but for me personally, I never fitted into the corporate world or the world of education. I was only good at one thing at school and that was drawing and painting. I guess creativity was naturally embedded into my DNA and it’s the only way of life that makes sense, “building something from nothing”
Q: Why Manchester?
[Amman Ahmed] I graduated from this city and I could just feel a buzz, I believe this city is going to be big for tech. Startup costs are very low compared to London, there is talent here and there is a lot of development going on in the city. Media City, Old Granada Studios, and Tech Hub will become huge breeding grounds in which the world attention will turn to the Manchester Tech Scene.