Jason Flick’s business just keeps growing.
“As we get more success, we just keep building on it. Every deal we’ve signed has been significantly larger,” says the co-founder and CEO of You.i TV.
While the company, which makes a user-interface framework to help developers build TV apps that work across all devices, has pivoted somewhat over the years, one thing that hasn’t changed is growth.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone living in Ottawa who hasn’t had a slice of Gabriel Pizza. Served up in 42 restaurants in Ontario and Quebec, at events including
In eight years, the company has gone from signing deals worth a few hundred thousand dollars to ones valued in the millions.
It’s a combination of harnessing the company’s momentum and being audacious about seeking out bigger and bigger clients, says Mr. Flick.
“I think one of the things we’ve never done is say, ‘Hey, we can’t do that,’” he says.
Since its founding, You.i has essentially doubled in revenue and head count every year, he says.
But things might look a little different as You.i begins the next stage of its growth.
“We now have a partner network, so what our new focus now going forward is our revenue mix. We want to get the percentage of our product royalty, recurring royalty, moving up,” he says. “That’s really the big change now and why we’re raising funding.”
Last September, You.i raised $15 million in venture capital, the first time the company landed an investment round. “We’ve done this all organically,” Mr. Flick says.
That investment will help power the next stage of the company’s growth.
“Now, with funding, it’s about building an ecosystem around our product,” he says.
Local head count
More than 170
Key markets or customers
Adobe, Rogers, Turner Broadcasting
Product or service
A platform for building TV apps that work across devices
Three-year growth percentage
313.64 per cent
As the company has grown, there have been changes for Mr. Flick, too.
“One of the expressions we use a lot in the business is, ‘What got you here isn’t going to get you there,’” he says. “So we have to continually reinvent ourselves.”
For him, that means he no longer doubles as the company’s IT guy and isn’t involved in every deal.
“You need to be able to pull yourself out and look at things from a meta level, instead of thinking about how do we get into accounts better, how do we manage multiple accounts better,” he says. “Once we have multiple accounts, how do we manage partners who manage accounts to get more accounts?”
It’s a shift from thinking tactically to thinking strategically. Still, Mr. Flick is anything but a hands-off CEO.
“My favourite part is about being in front of clients and pitching our product,” he says. “I still keep a little bit of that.”