Yubo’s Path to Success: CEO Sacha Lazimi Talks Challenges and Triumphs — Trendingbird

Yubo App
5 min readJan 13, 2024

Yubo CEO Sacha Lazimi shares the live social discovery app’s rise from a Paris startup to a Gen Z-favored social app, highlighting user-focused innovation.

In a candid conversation on the “DealMakers” podcast , Yubo’s co-founder and CEO, Sacha Lazimi, delved into the story behind the social discovery app that’s become a hit with Generation Z. His journey from being a mathematics student in Paris to leading a tech startup isn’t just about the evolution of app, but also about resilience, innovation, and an acute understanding of the social media realm.

Lazimi has a degree in engineering from CentraleSupélec, a master’s degree in engineering from Université Paris Dauphine — PSL, and a Baccalauréat Scientifique from Lycée Maurice Ravel. However, his foray into entrepreneurship began at Université Paris Dauphine. His first venture, Saloon, a geolocated anonymous chat app for students, saw rapid user uptake but faced significant challenges.

“We learned how to code and launched this product within three months,” he told Alejandro Cremades, serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, and host of “DealMakers.” “To market the product, we just gave out flyers at the university entrance, and we got like 10,000 sign-ups within two weeks, so it worked.”

After Saloon, Lazimi shifted to Twelve, an app that allowed users to meet a new person daily. “The idea was to meet only one person to chat with every day at 12, so it was a very good idea,” he said. However, despite its unique approach, Twelve struggled with user engagement. “So at some point, we [realized] it’s a good idea and everyone loves it. But [since] no one was using it, we needed to stop and find a new product.” The experience was instrumental in shaping the team’s future direction. Lazimi noted the need for a deeper understanding of what users truly wanted, leading to the pivot toward Yubo.

The Breakthrough: Understanding Gen Z’s Needs

The idea for Yubo stemmed from Lazimi’s observation of a gap in social media for teens and young adults. He stated, “We noticed that 6,000 tweets daily were about people looking for new friends on Snapchat. So we had a niche and solved this need to make new friends on Snapchat.” This insight was the foundation of Yubo.

Originally named Yellow, the live social discovery app’s breakthrough came when Lazimi realized that their user base sought more than just a platform for exchanging Snapchat handles. They were looking for a space that mirrored real-life social interactions. This led to the integration of features that replicated the offline social experience online. This vision is rooted in understanding the fundamental need for teens and young adults to belong and be their authentic selves without the pressure to perform for traditional approval metrics such as follower counts and likes.

Lazimi explained that it’s a live chat that enables you to socialize as you would do in real life. You can meet new individuals and speak with them as you would normally do in offline situations.

The result of this is that the engagement and the time spent on the app increased by five times, as stated by the CEO. That’s when they realized they had a good product that needed to grow and monetization was necessary for this.

Yubo Overcoming Hurdles: Fundraising and Reputation Management

Fundraising was challenging for . The journey was filled with rejections and setbacks. Still, Lazimi raised $60 million across several funding rounds together with its team.

He mentioned that their growth was huge from the very start, getting 10 million sign ups in the first year. In 2018, their main expense was the server cost. For this reason, the platform was not monetized in the beginning, but they raised funds to cover their scalability and growth and, of course, the server cost. Investors were interested in the team that took care of the previous product. But they also invested in Lazimi’s team and their knowledge in improving online interactions and connections between people.

Lazimi also mentioned that investors would not invest in the actual app because everything was new. The category itself — “social discovery” — was unheard of and was nothing like any social media platform out there. We don’t compete with other social networks.

Almost all — a whopping 99% — of the live social discovery app’s users are Gen Z looking to get in touch with other individuals who share similar interests and boost their social network, unlike traditional social media options that connect users with existing friends and family. Lazimi explained the platform was “still new for investors who were investing in the potential of the scalability of the platform.”

He explained that the monetization gathered in almost 3 years allowed them to reach a gross revenue of about 100 million euros. And that only came via subscriptions and in-app purchases, which doesn’t usually happen with social media websites.

Lazimi’s journey with the social discovery app underscores how resilience and adaptation are crucial in the tech industry. He stated that they made all the possible mistakes. “We were making sure that we learned something from it and that we were not going to make the same mistake again.” This mindset was pivotal in Yubo’s evolution and in overcoming the numerous challenges faced along the way.

The live social discovery app’s success story is more than just about its growth; it’s about setting a new paradigm in social media focused on real interaction and social discovery. Lazimi’s role as a leader and his team’s innovation managed to carve out a unique space for Yubo in the competitive world of social apps.

Its journey is a testament to the power of resilience, the importance of understanding user needs, and the ability to adapt and pivot in the fast-paced world of social media. From its inception as a solution to a simple need observed on social media websites to its current status as a popular app among Generation Z, the app’s story is one of turning challenges into triumphs, guided by the vision and tenacity of Lazimi.

Originally published at https://www.trendingbird.com on January 13, 2024.

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Yubo App

Yubo is a social live-streaming platform that celebrates a space where anyone can belong.