Mateo Price graduated from Northwestern University in 2021. Just a year later, at the age of 22, he sold his YouTube analytics company, Authentic Media Ascension (AMA), to Jellysmack, a creator growth company.
Price started AMA as a passion project the summer before his sophomore year of college, according to a student spotlight on The Garage. He got involved with The Garage, Northwestern’s entrepreneurial community, his freshman year.
He was inspired to create a business when he read Tim Ferriss’ book “Tribe of Mentors,” he told The Garage. Price sent a cold outreach email to Jesser, a YouTuber he followed who’s known for basketball and challenge videos, and offered to help him increase his engagement and brand awareness. Price didn’t have formal experience in this space, he told Creator Mag, but he knew social media and understood Jesser’s audience.
“He ended up taking a chance on me, which transformed my passion project into a business,” Price told Creator Mag.
At that time, in 2018, Jesser had 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, according to Creator Mag. Within a year of linking up with AMA, his subscriber base grew more than 50%, reported Jellysmack. Today, Jesser has nearly 4 million subscribers.
AMA became official in 2019 while Price was still a student. The analytics agency worked with top video creators to grow faster and more engaged communities through data. After conducting a channel audit for each creator to determine what was and wasn’t working, the team tapped into the data to pinpoint when creators should post, what types of videos perform best and other insights. A team of Northwestern student contractors helped Price run the business.
AMA’s client base grew and came to include Ali Abdaal (now has nearly 3 million subscribers) and AJ Lapray (786,000 subscribers). By January 2020, AMA had brought in a total of six figures in revenue, according to Creator Mag.
At sale, AMA supported more than 30 top YouTube creators, totalling more than 60 million subscribers and 20 billion views, Price told They Got Acquired. AMA helped these online creators generate more than $6 billion in revenue, according to JellySmack. The company’s lifetime revenue totaled more than $500,000, Price told us. The sale price was not disclosed.
Post-graduation crossroads for Price and AMA
Like many college students, Price wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduation, he told Creator Mag. He didn’t know if he was ready to scale his passion project into a full-time gig.
He never considered selling AMA until Jellysmack approached him. JellySmack works with big-name creators to help them grow audiences across multiple social platforms. Partners include MrBeast, PewDiePie and Bailey Sarian.
What excited Price most about the acquisition was the opportunity to build his vision at scale — and be a part of the ride. Through the acquisition, Price became the director of YouTube development at JellySmack. He’ll work with the Jellysmack team to automate parts of AMA’s platform and better support creator partners, according to Jellysmack’s announcement.
“They’re a tech unicorn backed by SoftBank with big ambitions over the next couple of years,” Price explained. “It’s very exciting to be at the head of a core business line.”
His advice for young entrepreneurs is simple: “You don’t have to have it all figured out. If you have the right people and a vision you believe in, usually good things follow.”