Lack of online gay forums or networks or those that were in place sounded too ‘sleazy’, led Sean Howell and a few others to establish Hornet. Though it was a profitable mobile service focusing on helping men find dates, but there was no feature of general socializing. As an app, it filled in the gap for the eager audience and within a short span of 2 years, the social networking apps has managed to attract over 3 million users worldwide. With over 20% increase every month, Howell said that the apps was not just popular in US but users as far as Turkey, Russia, Brazil and France have been using it.
When they launched it in 2011, the first day the servers crashed because there were too many people signing on. Howell said that they are constantly trying to catch up with the growing demand but he said that meeting such demand as a CEO can be a struggle. He he has managed to raise $2 million, he was of the view that he didn’t need any more as the apps makes money by selling premium accounts and advertising revenue. The premium account didn’t have any advertisements and account for the major revenue for the company.