40 Million is HOT

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Hot Or Not Hot Or Not has been purchased by Avid Life Media for a reported 20 million dollars. Big congratulations to founders Jim Young and James Hong. I originally met James at a TechCrunch party last fall. Very cool & down to earth guy. He was telling me about the explosive growth that hot or not was experiencing due to Facebook and other super high trafficked social media sites.

Hot or Not has a great story. Basically 2 buddies built a site for fun where people could rate people based on their looks. They always had a moderation queue so they could weed out the pornography. The funny thing behind this is James’s parents were doing most of the moderation for the first couple years of the site. He told me it was kind of weird paying his parents to sort out the porn pictures on Hot or Not. Anyway they implemented a dating/connection component and other items to create revenue over the years. Techcrunch reported last may the site was bring in 5 million a year in revenue with 2-3 million of that being profit on average. Also reported was that the founders had taken out 20 million from the site over the years.

So this means they have personally taken in 40 million from the site now with the sale. Great job guys.

52 thoughts on “40 Million is HOT

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  2. CatherineL

    That is amazing. It doesn’t seem long since they launched and I remember thinking it seemed like a smart idea. It has certainly paid off for them.

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    Personally I felt that if they were bringing in 5 million per year and of that, half were profits, 20 million was a little on the low side. They probably could have generated more by keeping the site unless they have something else in mind to invest the 20 million in.

  4. Erica DeWolf

    Easy, simple concept…yet extremely successful!

    It just goes to show you…put your simple ideas into action. They don’t have to be complicated to be popular and make money!

  5. Sabrina

    Wow, sounds like a hot site, lol. What an awesome thing to have bragging rights on. We’re definitely in a new generation, our kids and grandkids are going to be web fortune heirs!

  6. Syed Balkhi

    40 million is surely hot. I am surprised to see that they credit facebook and social network sites that much. It was just a unique idea and innovation is good money 😉

  7. Affiliate Confession

    That’s insane! 5 million a year in revenue and then they get paid $20 million for the site, I know there are still a million ideas like that left, I just have to find one. That just frickin’ insane!

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  9. Paul

    Incredible! I hope that I can get someone like you Shoe to write a post just like that about me. Do you know if they had an investor?

  10. Jen, writer MembershipMillionaire.com

    It’s amazing what these two buddies did. And to think it all started from something they thought was a fun and cool idea. It makes me wonder what next new idea is going to appear next and who will be responsible for it? It takes just a bit of creativity and a dash or innovative thinking to create something new and exciting. That bit about paying the parents was pretty amusing, too!

  11. Flash Gamer

    Thats funny that his parents had to weed through the porn. This is my dream, develop a site, it gets hot and sell it off for millions. Awesome job they did in my opinion.

  12. Make Money - Cashtacular

    It’s nice to see a very simple idea with strong execution get rewarded. There are a ton of small ideas that could make loads of dough, as long as their implemented properly. Ideas are obviously important. Execution is much more significant.

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  14. Money Never Sleeps

    I remember when Hot or Not started…it was huge in the office! The people who invented that site were like pioneers for the Social Networking sites and the boom that we are in…I think they sold for too low! Hopefully they still have some sort of profit sharing agreement or something!

  15. Chris

    Wow. I’m impressed by that. I was trying to figure out what kind of revenue that site brought in. Not bad–now they’re rich.

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    i actually thought the site had more potential and could be worth up in the low xxx millions. Surprised it sold for so less, although the popularity has kinda died down since the site is a couple years old if they sold it in its prime i guarantee they could of got a lot more, and 40 million isn’t really a whole lot of money nowadays, im guessing it coudl buy 20-30 years of good living

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