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DuckDuckGo Business Model Case Study

When you hear the phrase ‘search engine’, what’s the first name that pops into your head? For most of us, the answer would be Google. And that's because for almost two decades now, Google has had more than 90% market share among search engines. Google’s market dominance is such that so many people haven’t used or even tried a different search engine. Even in 2008, the year in which Gabriel Weinberg launched DuckDuckGo, Google had around 90% percent market share? So why did he even bother building an alternative to a search giant like Google? Originally, he had no...

McDonald’s Business Model Case Study

McDonald's is ubiquitous. No matter which country or major city you go to, you are bound to find a McDonald's outlet. As of 2020, the company was operating 39,198 restaurants worldwide and held the title of 'The World's Largest Restaurant Company'. But what if, I told you, McDonald's is a real estate empire hiding under the guise of a fast-food chain?  In its 2020 Financial Report, the company reported 41 billion dollars worth of assets in property & equipment before accounting for depreciation, making it the 7th largest real estate company in the world even if we were to deduct the 3.5...

Zoom Business Model Case Study

When Eric Yuan, Zoom’s CEO, decided to go after the video conferencing market in 2011, the market was already flooded with incumbents like Microsoft-owned Skype, Google Hangouts & the then market leader Webex, owned by Cisco. Eric was serving as the VP of Engineering at Webex when he decided to venture out on his own. So why did he quit Webex, start Zoom & how did he turn Zoom into a leading video conferencing software, with almost 50% market share? There’s no denying the fact that the coronavirus propelled Zoom’s growth in a way nobody could have predicted, not even Eric himself, but...

Mailchimp Business Model Case Study

After Intuit announced it was acquiring Mailchimp for $12 billion in September 2021, the deal sent shockwaves across the tech industry. But Salesforce had just acquired Slack a few months ago, in Dec 2020, for $27.7 billion, so Mailchimp's acquisition was by no means the largest SaaS acquisition in recent history.  Mailchimp's acquisition still became the talk of tech town because it was the largest acquisition for a non-VC-funded bootstrapped SaaS company until date. What added more credence to Mailchimp's self-funded, anti-VC approach was that the business generated a revenue of $750 million in 2020 and has been profitable throughout its entire lifespan. Aaron Levie, CEO of Box,...

YouTube Business Model Case Study

In November 2006, almost two years after its founding in February 2005, Google acquired YouTube for a then-hefty price of $1.65 billion.  In the 2020 annual report, Google reported that YouTube generated $19.7 billion from advertisements alone in 2019 (Youtube generates revenue through other income streams as well, which we will discuss below), contributing 10.83% to Google’s total 2020 revenue.  Youtube has, undoubtedly, been one of the most remarkable acquisitions in the history of tech. It is the second most popular website in the world after Google. Source: Similar Web  But when it comes to engagement metrics like avg visit duration, pages per visit...

Signal Business Model Case Study

Before the age of technology, it was relatively easier to lead a life private. But as our lives become increasingly digital, maintaining personal privacy has become difficult and deserving of more time and thought than earlier. These days, technology giants like Google and Facebook track and store data about us to enable advertisers to target us with ads efficiently. And it's not just that. Data breaches and inappropriate data sharing have also become common. According to Wikipedia, a collection of 2.7 billion identity records were posted on the web for sale in 2019 alone, of which 774 million were unique...

WhatsApp Business Model Case Study

WhatsApp, the product, has had a crazy journey, and I mean that, like literally. Started by two founders who hated advertising and were pro-privacy, WhatsApp ended in the hands of Facebook -- the one big tech giant that is most certainly not revered for user security and privacy. While WhatsApp thrived under Facebook, growing from 450 million monthly active users at the time of acquisition in 2014 to over 2 billion monthly active users at the time of writing, the founders of WhatsApp ended up leaving Facebook over disagreements on the monetization future of WhatsApp, with one of them...

Picsart Business Model Case Study

In recent years, the photo and video app category has experienced runaway success, driven by the rise in consumer fascination to edit photos and videos. Photo and video apps made nearly $2billion in 2019, up from $240 million in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. While Apps like YouTube & Tik Tok, and Twitch are a few winners anyone could guess, one app relatively lesser-known app that regularly features among the top 10 revenue makers in the photo and video app category is Picsart. In January 2020, Picsart stood fifth among the top revenue makers in...

Inshorts Business Model Case Study

By July 2015, almost two years into launch, Inshorts had achieved a milestone of 1M Android App Installs with a 4.5-star rating on Google Play Store, but the company was still not fretting over monetizing the product. Azhar Iqbal, CEO of Inshorts laid out the company’s strategy at a panel discussion in FICCI Frames 2016, “Inshorts currently does not make any money. We’re right now working only of venture capital money. There’s no particular revenue model. Right now, our main focus is trying to get eyeballs on Inshorts and make sure people read our summaries as they don’t have time.” So then how did Inshorts...

Figma Business Model Case Study

At the time Figma was started, in 2012, IBM employed one designer for every 72 engineers. By 2019, IBM had eight engineers to every designer, and the ratio went to 3:1 on mobile. And it wasn't just IBM that became more serious about design — the entire tech industry switched to the design-heavy product development approach. Atlassian went from 1 designer : 25 engineers in 2012 to 1 designer : 9 developers in 2017.  LinkedIn went from 1 designer : 11 engineers in 2012 to 1 designer : 8 developers in 2017.  Dropbox went from 1 designer : 10 engineers in 2012 to 1...