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How Indiegogo became one of the leading Entrepreneurial fundraising platforms

Until the first decade of the 21st century, the traditional model of raising money to start a business included either borrowing money from a bank in exchange for collateral or convincing venture capitalists your idea was worthy of investment in exchange for equity. Even though these models had their own set of pros and cons, both rested on the assumption that the business will most likely succeed, moving customer validation, if not entirely, then for the most part, to a post-launch date. However, Indiegogo's entrepreneurial crowdfunding model flips the traditional fundraising model on its head. Under the Indiegogo Model, aspiring...

How GoFundMe Became the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Platform

The first noteworthy instance of crowdfunding on the internet occurred in 1997 when fans of the British rock band Marillion raised US$60,000 to fund an entire U.S. tour. Crowdfunding, as a concept, had existed before, but the advent and the subsequent popularization of the internet helped it reach an unprecedented number of people.  It would still take more than a decade since 1997's Marillion crowdfunding campaign for the birth of crowdfunding companies like GoFundMe & Kickstarter, both of which are now giants of the crowdfunding space. With time, the causes for which people began raising money using the internet also diversified. Today, we see crowdfunding...

How Ketto became India’s Largest Crowdfunding Platform

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty was shipped from France to the US. Designed by a French sculptor named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and paid for by the French government, the Statue was to be a diplomatic gift to the US.  But when the Statue arrived in New York, it was in pieces, awaiting assembly. The Statue's granite plinth, the base upon which it was to stand, required $250,000, a large sum at the time. The American Committee of the Statue of Liberty, a group tasked with raising the amount necessary, fell short by more than a third. Grover Cleveland, then New...

Snapchat’s Growth Story & Business Model

In 2013, Evan Speigel, Snapchat CEO, famously turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook. To put things into perspective, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.  And 2013 was not the last time Facebook tried to buy out Snapchat. Facebook was interested in buying the upstart social media competitor as late as 2016.  But Snapchat, like another counterpart, Twitter, decided to chase an independent destiny. Whether Snapchat made the right decision or not is something that we can assess in hindsight based on its current financial standing and future potential.  And that's what we will do in this blog. But first, we will look at...

How Ikea Became the World’s Largest Furniture Retailer & How it Makes Money

Started 78 years ago, in 1943, Ikea has gone on to become the largest furniture retailer. And like any brand that goes on to become a market leader, Ikea pioneered multiple innovations in its industry. To add to that, Ikea, in recent years, has also adapted itself to stay relevant in the digital era.  In this blog, we will dive into the strategies that propelled Ikea to the top of the furniture industry, look into how Ikea has maintained relevancy in the digital world and how it makes money.  Ikea's Founding & Growth Story Like most entrepreneurs who impact the world, Ikea's founder,...

Why 20M Users Prefer Paid Email Service ProtonMail Despite Gmail Being Free

Around 4 billion people were using one or another email service in 2020. And approximately 306 billion emails were sent and received every day worldwide.  One reason why email usage is so widespread worldwide is that it is, for the most part, free. And second, there's no shortage of free email services — Gmail, Outlook & Yahoo Mail are popular examples. Despite this, more than 20 million people worldwide are now using a lesser-known email service called ProtonMail, which started in 2014.  The small yet substantial rise in popularity of the relatively new ProtonMail begs the question of why anyone would switch from...

Paypal’s Growth Story & Business Model

In my opinion, Paypal's business is worth studying for two main reasons. First, PayPal is one of the oldest fintech companies to have survived to date in the post-internet era, so it has democratized innovations as well weathered competition from other startups since its founding in 1998. And Second, it was founded by the members of what is now famously known as the Paypal Mafia, a group of high-impact individuals like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, etc.   To add more weight to the two reasons stated above, what makes Paypal an even more fascinating business case study is that the...

How Wikipedia Works + Wikipedia’s Business Model

The proliferation of encyclopedic information can be classified into two eras: pre-internet and post-internet. Both eras gave birth to different models to create a knowledge repository and share it with a wider audience.   The earliest encyclopedic work to have survived until modern times dates back to the 1st century AD. Still, it was only after the advent of the printing press in the 15th century that encyclopedic knowledge was democratized. Most pre-internet encyclopedias, including Britannica, the earliest and the most famous Encyclopedia in the English-speaking world, had a similar operation style and business model.  As you can guess, they ran like more or less a...

How Tesla Disrupted the Car Industry and How it Makes Money

In 2016, 13 years after being in existence, Tesla made a one-word switch in its mission statement.  The old mission statement read, "Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport." The updated mission statement became, "Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."  I highlight this change because it opens up a different window to peek into the house of Tesla. The general perception built around Tesla is that it is a car company focused on speeding up our transition to electric or sustainable transport, but the mission statement change and newer product lines indicate that...

How Harvard Makes Money?

I'm going to throw you a challenge. Assume you have to start a university that would become the richest and the most prestigious educational institutions in humankind's history.  What plan of action would you create? What business model would you choose? How would you make it financially viable for the centuries ahead? A predictable approach would be to build a sustainable brand by providing top-notch education, establishing artificial scarcity by making applicants go through a challenging selection process, and ensuring students get placed in high-income jobs. In exchange for all of this, students would be willing to pay exorbitant fees.  But that's...