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Bootstrapping a Niche e-Commerce Company to $10 Million: iHeartRaves CEO Brian Lim (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 9th 2018

Sramana Mitra: What about team size? What kind of team size are you doing all this with and how did that grow over time?

Brian Lim: We’re at about 60 full-time folks.

Sramana Mitra: You’re in Los Angeles right?

Brian Lim: Yes, at Anaheim.

Sramana Mitra: All of these people are in Anaheim or are they distributed?

Brian Lim: Majority are here at our corporate office. We operate at a 30,000 square feet office. We like to do everything in-house other than manufacturing.

Sramana Mitra: What is the distribution of personnel? What is the functional distribution of these people?

Brian Lim: We have a large chunk who are in marketing – designers, videographers. Then we have a large chunk that’s order fulfillment. We have a customer service team. We have a retail store that’s in West Covina, California.

Sramana Mitra: You said $3 million in 2011. You’re at about $20 million now?

Brian Lim: In 2016, we hit $20 million. This year, we’re on track for $30 million.

Sramana Mitra: What do you want to do with the company? You want to keep it private and growing like this? You want to sell a portion of it to private equity? How are you thinking about the business at this point?

Brian Lim: I’ve been extremely lucky and blessed to run and start companies that revolve around my personal passion. I love what I do every single day. We’re growing the company to gain the most market share as quickly as possible. We want to dominate the entire EDM rave scene and the gaming and e-sports world. I see our companies getting into the $100 million to $200 million range. At the core of it all, we like to call ourselves the Emazing group. We know how to start and scale brands and simply know how to sell stuff online.

Sramana Mitra: If you want to go from where you are to $100 million, do you think you can do that based on this one product line? What is the product strategy that you think is going to get you to a bigger company?

Brian Lim: There are actually three brands that is within the Emazing group today. EmazingLights is the LED glove that started it all. The two larger brands are the apparel brands. One is called iHeartRaves. It consists of all the festival wear that you see people wearing into Coachella and EDC. The third is INTO THE AM brand that focuses on the gaming and e-sports market.

Sramana Mitra: Got it. Across those three, you think you have enough there to grow to a hundred million.

Brian Lim: Yes, because the markets are just so large and we’re really barely penetrating enough. At the same time, we’re also looking at brands as well.

Sramana Mitra: Congratulations. It’s great to hear your story.

Brian Lim: The most exciting thing would be our Shark Tank experience. We went on Shark Tank in 2015. We got an offer from all five sharks and decided to go with Mark and Damon versus Laurie and Robert. I had asked for $650,000 for 5%. Laurie and Robert offered $1 million for 5%. I still went with Mark and Damon. That experience was wonderful around. We got publicized in all the major publications.

Sramana Mitra: Wonderful. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Bootstrapping a Niche e-Commerce Company to $10 Million: iHeartRaves CEO Brian Lim
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