YouTube Success Story | About, Founders, Funding, Business Model

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami Purbalee Dutta Purbalee Dutta
Sep 9, 2021 10 min read
YouTube Success Story | About, Founders, Funding, Business Model

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by YouTube.

What if you want to cook mutton biryani for your loved one but do not know the recipe for the delicious dish? Maybe you want some information about a faraway place that you want to visit this vacation. What if you are bored and want some sort of entertainment? Do not worry, YouTube is here to help you gain information, learn skills and stay entertained.

Does YouTube even need an introduction? Most of us love binge-watching videos on YouTube, and turning to YouTube for various reasons has almost become a habit. Here are some interesting facts and figures about the platform, and the YouTube success story.

YouTube - Company Highlights

Startup Name YouTube
Headquarters San Bruno, California, United States
Sector Internet, Music, Video Marketing
Founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim
Founded February 1, 2005

YouTube - About
YouTube - Founders and Team
YouTube - Startup Story
YouTube - Mission and Vision
YouTube - Tagline, Slogan and Logo
YouTube - Business Model and Revenue Model
YouTube - Funding and Investors
YouTube - Acquisitions
YouTube - Growth
YouTube - Online and Social Media Presence
YouTube - Competitors
YouTube - Future Plans

YouTube - About

Launched in 2005, YouTube is the largest video hosting platform and the second largest search engine after Google. As per May 2019 data, more than 500 hours of content are uploaded on YouTube every minute! Whether you want to learn coding or cooking, you are interested in gardening or traveling, YouTube has content for everyone. YouTube is not just about entertainment. As published by Hootsuite in 2021, globally 82% of people use YouTube for learning various skills.

Can't stop binge-watching videos on YouTube? You are not alone. YouTube has more than one billion monthly users, who watch more than one billion hours of video every day.

YouTube's Services include

YouTube Community -This feature allows YouTube content creators to interact with their subscribers. Β The feature is unlocked once a user crosses 1000 subscribers. Using this feature content creators can post images, videos, texts, gifs, etc to let their subscribers know about their upcoming content, behind the scene stuff, and more.

YouTube Kids app is exclusively developed for children. Users can choose the age of the children for whom the app is downloaded, and then the children can view age-appropriate content only. YouTube Kids TV app is also available for some selected TVs. On August 30, 2019, Β a web version of YouTube Kids was launched.

YouTube Movies is a movie buying and rental service by YouTube. While some movies are available to watch for free, others need to be purchased or rented.

YouTube Music is a music streaming service like Spotify. YouTube Music is available on the web and also comes as an app. You Can listen to music for free or opt for the premium option for an ad-free experience.

YouTube Premium - YouTube Premium is the ad-free version of YouTube. YouTube premium comes with certain benefits that differentiate it from free YouTube.

  1. YouTube Premium gives you an ad-free experience. Hence no interruptions while watching your favorite videos.
  2. You can download videos and playlists, which you can watch when you are offline. Free Youtube does not allow us to download videos. However, even in YouTube Premium, the download option is available only on mobile devices and not on computer and laptop devices.
  3. Background play option available in YouTube Premium, keeps the YouTube video playing, even when you are working on another app on your mobile, or when your mobile screen is off. In free YouTube, however, when we open another app, on your mobile, YouTube stops playing, and also YouTube stops playing when the screen is off.
  4. With YouTube Premium, one also gets access to YouTube Music Premium. With YouTube Music Premium, one can enjoy ad-free music, and download songs, and videos. One can also keep playing music in the background, while he is using another app, and turn on audio-only mode to listen to just the song without loading the video.
  5. One also gets access to YouTube Original series and movies with YouTube Premium.

YouTube Stories initially called YouTube reels was launched in 2018. YouTube content creators having 10000+ subscribers get access to this feature. YouTube stories can be seen only on the YouTube mobile app.

YouTube Shorts is similar to Tik-Tok which lets users create short 15 seconds videos. One can create YouTube shorts in the YouTube Mobile app, where all the tools required to create shorts are available. Launched in September 2020, this feature has received much popularity. In March 2021 only, YouTube Shorts generated Β 6.5 billion daily views.

TestTube YouTube lets its Premium members try experimental features and give feedback on them. YouTube Premium members can visit, where various experimental features are available. Users can choose to try out any of these features.

YouTube TV is a TV streaming service available for customers in the United States. YouTube TV subscribers get access to live sports and shows from 85+ broadcast, cable, and regional sports networks and unlimited DVR (Digital Video Recording) Space. YouTube TV can be accessed from all devices like TV, Mobile, Desktop, Laptop, etc. One can also view YouTube Originals series and YouTube's trending videos on YouTube TV.

YouTube Go In April 2017, YouTube introduced YouTube Go. YouTube Go is the lighter version of YouTube that runs on a slow internet connection. YouTube Go was designed to let users download the videos and even share the videos with nearby users without any internet connection. The app however is currently unavailable for download on Google Play Store.

On 20 July 2021, YouTube announced its new feature, Super Thanks. Super Thanks allows viewers to pay money to their favorite creators on YouTube. Once you pay, your comment on the comments section will be highlighted.

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YouTube - Founders and Team

Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley, and Steve Chen are the founders of YouTube. All three founders are ex PayPal employees.

Jawed Karim

Software engineer and entrepreneur Jawed Karim is of Bangladeshi-German descent. He spent the early years of his life in Germany but later shifted to the USA due to the xenophobia he and his family faced in Germany. Jawed holds a Master's degree in Computer Science. Jawed joined PayPal, while he was still doing his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

At PayPal, Jawed met Chad Hurley and Steve Chan, and in 2005 the trio came up with YouTube. However, when YouTube was launched in February 2005, Jawed decided not to stay at YouTube like an employee but continued to stay as an informal adviser to YouTube. Thus jawed held a lower share in the company. Jawed later co-founded a Venture fund named Youniversity Ventures(also known as YVentures) in 2008. Jawed Karim is the first person to create a YouTube Channel. His channel is called 'jawed'. Also, Jawed uploaded the first-ever video on YouTube on 23rd April 2005.

'Me at the Zoo' The first video uploaded on YouTube.

jawed karim - StartupTalky
StartupTalky is India’s leading media platform to learn about all startup stakeholders. We conduct interviews to bring you what goes behind the scene.

Chad Hurley

Chad Hurley is an American webmaster and a businessman. Chad served as the first CEO of YouTube and continued as the CEO till 2010 when Google's Salar Kamangar took over as the CEO. Chad holds a B.A degree in Fine Arts from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In 2011, Chad left YouTube and started AVOS systems, a technology company that helped developers create apps. In 2014, AVOS systems pivoted to become 'Mixbit', a mobile video platform. Mixbit ceased operations in August 2018.

Chad is now an investor and is operating as the co-founder of GreenPark Sports, a company that makes mobile games. As reported by Business Insider, Hurley is also part owner of Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Football Club.

Steve Chen

Steve Chen is a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur. Chen is a Computer Science Graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before starting YouTube Chen worked with companies like Facebook and PayPal.

Chen continued to work at YouTube even after the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006. He left YouTube in 2009 and worked on other divisions of Google. He left Google in 2011, and along with Chad Hurley started AVOS systems in 2013. Chen later left AVOS systems and joined Google Ventures in 2014. Currently, Chen is an Angel Investor.

YouTube Founders

YouTube - Startup Story

Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley, and Steve Chen, three PayPal employees created a video uploading platform. The initial concept was to build an online dating platform but unfortunately, the idea failed, but this had an exceptional video uploading space.

As YouTube co-founder Steve Chen said in 2016, when they began in 2005, YouTube was built to be a platform where people could upload videos about dating or their desirable partner. In line with the idea, the co-founders even came up with the tagline 'Tune in, Hook up'. But, people did not seem to take much interest in uploading dating-related videos.

As revealed by the co-founders, they were even offering women $20 to upload dating videos, but the idea did not work. Finally, the co-founders decided that to open the platform for not just dating, but all kinds of Videos. Jawed started by uploading the famous 'Me at the Zoo' Video on 23rd April 2005, and from there is no looking back!.

In 2006, the YouTube cofounders sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion. The platform today has over 2 billion monthly active users.

Besides the dating site story, several other stories are also heard about the inception of YouTube. According to some reports, the YouTube idea came to co-founders Steve and Chad when they were unable to share the video of a dinner party held at Chen's place in San Francisco.

According to co-founder Jawed Karim, the idea of forming a Video Sharing platform came when he was unable to find the clips of the 'Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show' controversy and 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami on the Internet.

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YouTube - Mission and Vision

YouTube's mission is to give everyone a chance to express his thoughts, feelings, talent, issues and more to the whole world. YouTube's mission statement is "To give everyone a voice and show them the world."

YouTube's tagline is 'Broadcast yourself'

Logo, YouTube

YouTube - Business Model and Revenue Model

Most of the content on YouTube is free. The Major source of Revenue for YouTube is advertisements. YouTube allows advertisers to show targeted ads to its users. A part of YouTube's revenue also comes from the subscription fee paid by the YouTube Premium users. Subscription fees earned from other services like YouTube TV, YouTube Music Premium are important sources of revenue for the company. Besides, when a user pays his favorite content creator through features like 'Super Thanks', a commission is charged by YouTube.

YouTube - Funding and Investors

YouTube has raised a total amount of $83.5 million in funding over two funding rounds.

Date Transaction Name Money Raised Lead Investors
March 30, 2006 Series B $80 million Artis Ventures and Sequoia Capital
November 1, 2005 Series A $3.5 million Sequoia Capital

YouTube - Acquisitions

To date, YouTube has acquired five organizations.

Date Acquired Organization
July 20, 2021 simsim
May 1, 2016 Subarctic Limited
February 12, 2016 Bandpage
December 18, 2014 Vidmaker
May 7, 2011 Next New Networks

YouTube - Growth

YouTube has generated an amount of $19.7 billion in revenue in 2020. In the 2nd quarter of 2021, YouTube's revenue nearly doubled to reach $7 billion. Till the 2nd quarter of 2021, there is an increase in 84% in YouTube's overall revenue, as compared the last year.

YouTube - Online and Social Media Presence

YouTube is actively present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Crunchbase, etc. In order to know more about this video-sharing company, you can check its profile present at various above-mentioned websites.

YouTube - Competitors

The top competitors of YouTube are Netflix, Hulu, and Vimeo.


It is the biggest competitor of YouTube. Netflix is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, USA, and was founded in 1997.


It is perceived as one of the top competitors of YouTube. Hulu is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, USA, and was founded in 2007.


It is also one of the biggest competitors of YouTube. Vimeo is headquartered in New York, NY, USA, and was founded in 2004.

YouTube - Future Plans

As mentioned by the current YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in YouTube's official blog, YouTube's priorities for 2021 includes growing the creator economy, helping people learn new skills and building for the future of YouTube. The CEO also puts stress on working in collaboration with Governments around the world, in accordance with the regulatory policies of different countries.

YouTube is also planning to come up with shopping options in the YouTube platform. The feature is already being tested now, and we can expect to shop via YouTube soon!

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