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Meet Anjali Sud, Indian-origin Vimeo CEO Who Just Took American Video Company Public

Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, stands in front of the Nasdaq MarketSite following the company's direct listing on Nasdaq. Credits: Associated Press.

Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, stands in front of the Nasdaq MarketSite following the company's direct listing on Nasdaq. Credits: Associated Press.

Anjali Sud grew up in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of Indian immigrants.

The future is all-inclusive: Anjali Sud, the CEO of Vimeo Holdings, on Tuesday took the company public, marking the trading debut of the company on the Nasdaq. “Today, Vimeo is a public company. It has been a 16-year labor of love: we’ve gone through lots of change, but what has never changed is our belief in the power of video. We put creators first, and put the power of professional-quality video in the hands of millions. We built an innovative software platform, a wildly creative community, and a strong, resilient business," wrote Sud taking the company public. Vimeo is a video streaming platform with over 200 million users. It was started in 2004 by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein. In a speech that she gave on Tuesday as she opened the markets, Sud said the team behind Vimeo had no plans of stopping until “we bring the power of professional quality video to all."

Anjali Sud grew up in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of Indian immigrants. She dreamed of becoming a playwright and cast her brother and sister in plays they performed in their basement for an audience of two: their parents.

“I was really shy as a kid. Acting, dancing and singing were a really nice outlet for me,” she told Yahoo in an interview in 2017. Her father started and still runs a plastics recycling plant in Flint. “He raised me with this idea that businesses can help create jobs and have a positive force of influence on your local community,” she said. In the year 1997, Sud left Flint to study at the Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She completed her B.Sc in Finance and Management from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2011.

Anjali joined Vimeo in 2014 when the company was around 12 years old. This was also a time when the company was busy competing with YouTube and Netflix — both tech giants who were at their peak (and probably still are) — and provide a higher quality alternative.

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In an April 2021 conversation with The Verge, Sud felt that they weren’t going to compete with original content in Netflix as it would require them to spend $17 billion on it. Also, YouTube was regarded as a one-stop solution for entertainment and people always chose YouTube like a ‘hard to break habit’.

Covid-19 changed the equation for Vimeo, much like many other businesses. “This is happening earlier than I would have thought because the pandemic has exposed the business world to the need for professional-quality video," Sud told CNN in an interview earlier in May. “Suddenly overnight, video went from a nice to have to a need to have for companies."

In November 2018, Sud was named #14 on Fortune’s 2018 ‘40 under 40’ list.

Vimeo Holdings Inc. fell 13% in its trading debut as a standalone company after being spun off from Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActive Corp.

The business video software company is the 11th public company to be spun off from IAC, joining Match Group Inc., Expedia Group Inc. and LendingTree Inc. Vimeo’s shares closed trading Tuesday at $45.39 a share. Vimeo ended the day with a market value of $7.2 billion. Fully diluted, that valuation rises to about $8.4 billion, reported Reuters.

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first published:May 27, 2021, 11:15 IST