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MasterClass Business Model: How MasterClass Makes Money

Among a sea of MOOC giants like Udemy, Udacity & Coursera, MasterClass stands out as an outlier. And the differentiation between these two sets of MOOC companies is mainly due to due to the following reasons:  1. Unlike Udemy, Udacity & Coursera — which allow thousands of individuals and institutions, basically almost anyone, to offer courses through their platform, MasterClass only features courses from a small number of world-class masters.  2. While Udemy, Udacity & Coursera have a massive library of courses featuring thousands & lakhs of courses, MasterClass only has close to 150+ classes. What makes MasterClass a business case...

DoorDash Business Model: How DoorDash Makes Money

When Doordash started as an American food delivery service in 2013, Grubhub was already the market leader. By Mid 2018, Uber Eats had overtaken Grubhub in market share. But the Uber Eats growth fizzled, and Grubhub could never catch up. By 2021, Doordash controlled 56% of the US food delivery market; Uber Eats and Grubhub accounted for only 26% and 16%.  This begs the question: how did Doordash become the market leader by attacking a problem considered already solved? In this piece, we will first learn how Doordash differentiated itself to carve out a place for itself, see how Doordash has expanded...

Telegram Business Model: How Telegram Makes Money

With more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app. But Telegram, launched in 2013, around four years after WhatsApp, has been slowly and steadily covering the ground.  More than 550 million users were actively using the service as of July 2021, with users increasingly flocking to Telegram after WhatsApp announced a contentious privacy policy update, forcing users to accept the updated terms until 8th February 2021. Due to the public backlash, WhatsApp eventually decided not to enforce the privacy update. Still, this entire episode injected life into the debate around which messaging app — WhatsApp, Telegram ot...

PayPal Business Model: How Paypal Makes Money

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...

IKEA Business Model Case: How IKEA Makes Money

Started 79 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 understand IKEA's business model. IKEA Founding & Growth Story Like most entrepreneurs who impact the world, IKEA's...

Shopify Business Model: How Shopify Makes Money

If we look at it from a narrow lens, Shopify is in the business of making it easier for people without coding skills to launch an online business. But if we zoom out, we could classify Shopify as an upstart in the broader retail market.  Yes, it is primarily in the business of internet retailing. But retail is not limited to the internet. Selling online is a sister distribution channel to the traditional offline channel. The whole point of commerce is to be present where the customer is, be it online or offline, or both, in an integrated fashion.  Shopify now...

Quora Business Model: How Quora Makes Money

Before Adam Angelo started quora, he had a job that most engineers would consider to be a dream position: he was the Chief Technology Officer at Facebook. In a 2010 interview with Business Insider, almost a year after he had started working on quora in June 2009, Adam shared what made him take the decision to leave Facebook and start on his own, “I could make a bigger impact on the world by starting something new rather than just continuing to optimize Facebook.” But it wasn’t like there weren’t any Q/A answer sites when he started Quora in 2009. There was Reddit,...

Snapchat Business Model: How Snapchat Makes Money

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 its 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...

ProtonMail Busines Model: How ProtonMail Makes Money

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 50 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...

Nykaa Business Model: How Nykaa Makes Money

The year is 2012. It's been five years since Flipkart started operations in India. Amazon is a year away from entering the Indian market. Internet adoption is happening at a crazy place.  In the same year(2012), Nykaa starts as a niche online retailer focused on beauty products. Today, Nykaa's website gets around 12 million monthly average website visits. To add to its success in the digital world, Nykaa also runs 84 offline stores across 40 cities.  In around a decade since its founding, Nykaa has become synonymous with beauty shopping in India, pushing forward the growth of the beauty industry in the country....