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WhatsApp Business Model: How WhatsApp Makes Money

WhatsApp, the product, has had a crazy journey, and I mean that, like literally. Started by two founders who hated advertising and were passionately pro-privacy, WhatsApp ended in the hands of Facebook — the one big tech giant that is least revered for user 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 not even sticking...

Netflix Business Model: How Netflix Makes Money

Most of us know Netflix as the online streaming company that makes money by selling a monthly subscription pack to its customers to access the content available on its platform. But that's not how Netflix originally started.  The Netflix of today looks nothing like the Netflix of day one. In its 24 years of existence, Netflix's business model underwent four significant strategic shifts. In this piece, I will run you through all the four business model changes Netflix went through and explain Netflix's current business model. Why was Netflix started? Before he started Netflix, Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, was just another...

Swiggy Business Model: How Swiggy Makes Money

India’s food delivery industry is a duopoly, with Zomato & Swiggy controlling most of the market. This duopoly has not only been enriching its position in the food delivery segment but also looking to expand beyond the delivery segment. In our piece on Zomato's business model, we discussed the three key pillars that drive Zomato’s revenue — Food Delivery, Dining Out & Sustainability, and the company’s vision to build new core segments. In this piece, we will look at the different business segments Swiggy has launched since its founding in 2014 to understand Swiggy’s business model better, but before we do...

Medium Business Model: How Medium Makes Money

In 2012, when Evan Williams launched Medium.com, he was no newbie in the internet publishing space. Having co-founded Blogger in 1999(acquired by Google) and Twitter in 2006, Evan’s contribution to democratizing publishing on the internet had already been immense.  So why did he feel the itch to leave Twitter and launch Medium.com in 2012, when this new startup was his third venture in an industry he had been a part of for 13 years. In his own words, this is what he set out to do, “In 1999, two friends and I launched Blogger, a simple tool for publishing on the...

YouTube Business Model: How YouTube Makes Money

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 2021 annual report, Google reported that YouTube generated $28.8 billion from advertisements alone in 2021 (Youtube generates revenue through other income streams as well, which we will discuss below), contributing 11.19% to Google’s total 2021 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...

DuckDuckGo Business Model: How DuckDuckGo Makes Money

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 most people haven’t used or even tried a different search engine. Even in 2008, when 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 plans of launching a...

Signal Business Model: How Signal Makes Money

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 more complicated 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...

Zoom Business Model: How Zoom Makes Money

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 served as the VP of Engineering at Webex when he decided to venture out independently. 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 that the coronavirus propelled Zoom’s growth in a way nobody could have predicted, not even Eric himself, but Zoom was a successful product...

Ketto Business Model: How Ketto Makes Money

In 1885, France shipped the Statue of Liberty 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 York...

Salesforce Business Model: How Salesforce Makes Money

When you begin to list down the reasons why one should study the business of Salesforce, the list seems endless.  Salesforce practically pioneered the SaaS model. Salesforce displaced the existing incumbent of its time to become the leading CRM software. As of 2021, Salesforce was still the #1 CRM software with a market share of 23.9%. Salesforce’s closest competitor, Oracle, had a market share of 5.5%, followed by Microsoft and SAP, which have a 5% market share each.  I could list many more reasons why the Salesforce business case study is worth studying, but that would be a time kill. So,...