Kickstarter Business Model Case Study

With its mission to help bring creative projects to life, Kickstarter helps finance creativity and innovation not just for art world elites but also for people that do not have a creative background, facilitating projects in various categories such as Art, Design, Journalism, Photography, and Theater. Every Kickstarter project has a clear goal such as making an album or a book and the project creator keeps 100% ownership of their work. Since its launch in 2009, 18 million people have pledged over $4.9 billion to fund more than 180,000 Kickstarter projects. But how exactly does Kickstarter work and make money?  Let's find out, but...

Ecosia Business Model Case Study

If we were to ask a random group of people to list down the search engines that they’ve used, most would say Google. A few of them, particularly millennials, might even say Bing or Yahoo.  And that’s because Google has had more than 90% market share among search engines for almost two decades now. Even in Dec 2009, when Christian Kroll, founder of Ecosia decided to launch the eco-friendly search engine, Google had more than 90% market share.  So why did he even bother starting another search engine? Well, his desire to build a business that would have a positive social impact on the...

Swiggy Business Model Case Study

While Zomato & Swiggy are the leading players in the Indian food delivery industry, the two companies have taken different strategic directions otherwise.  In our blog on Zomato’s business model, we discussed the three key pillars that drive Zomato’s revenue -- Food Delivery, Dining Out & Sustainability. Swiggy, on the other hand, has been expanding its focus from just delivering food to being able to deliver anything. In this blog, we will have a look at the different business segments Swiggy has launched since its founding in 2014 to develop a better understanding of how it makes money, but before we do...

Airbnb Business Model Case Study

In 2018, US consumers spent more money on Airbnb than they did on the hotel industry giant Hilton and its subsidiary brands, according to a report by second measure, a company that analyses anonymized debit and credit card purchases. The only company to have made more revenue than Airbnb was Mariott, the world’s largest hotel company, which saw a steep rise in revenue after acquiring Starwood Hotel in 2016.  Source: Second Measure In terms of consumer lodging US market share, Airbnb owns 20 percent of the market, which in itself is huge considering Airbnb is an upstart relative to the established hotel brand...

Fiverr Business Model Case Study

The expected value of the global gig economy, which is a term used to classify independent contractors/freelancers, is projected to be $455 Billion by 2023.  In 2018, the global gig economy generated $204B in Gross Volume -- with transportation-based services comprising 58% of the value, the asset-sharing sector capturing 30% & the remaining 12% being distributed among professional services & HGIM (Handmade Goods, Household & Miscellaneous Services) Fiverr, which falls under the professional services category of the gig economy, is a two-sided digital marketplace that connects people who are interested in doing gig work (sellers) to people who want to get gig...

Substack Business Model Case Study

The earliest medium of spreading news & information at a massive scale was the printed newspaper, which was first published weekly in Germany from 1609. In their early days, newspapers were expensive because they were sold directly to consumers -- without ad-based models to support them.  All that changed in 1833 when a news publisher named Benjamin Day invented the now ubiquitous advertising supported publishing model, changing the economics of the newspaper business, for better or for worse. A newspaper that cost 6 cents per issue, an expensive price at the time, now sold for a penny per issue, supported by the advertising...

Rebel Foods Business Model Case Study

In his book Zero to One, Peter Theil, previously co-founder and venture capitalist, argued that the inherently hyper-competitive nature of restaurants makes them a mediocre business.  Here’s what he wrote in Zero to One: “Suppose you want to start a restaurant that serves British food in Palo Alto. “No one else is doing it,” you might reason. “We’ll own the entire market.” But that’s only true if the relevant market is the market for British food specifically. What if the actual market is the Palo Alto restaurant market in general? And what if all the restaurants in nearby towns are part of...

LinkedIn Business Model Case Study

In the early days of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman did something he advises all startup founders to do; he went around and discussed the idea of LinkedIn with all the smart people in his network.  But when he shared the idea of LinkedIn in his network, 2/3 or more thought Reid was nuts.  And to be clear, Reid’s network included some of the most influential people in Silicon Valley at the time because before starting LinkedIn; Reid was the executive vice president of Paypal, meaning he is a member of what is popularly known as the Paypal mafia. Most of Reid’s smart friends...

Quora Business Model Case Study

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,...

Medium Business Model Case Study

In 2012, when Evan Williams launched Medium.com, he was no newbie in the internet publishing space. Having co-founded Blogger in 1999, which was later acquired by Google and Twitter in 2006, Evan’s contribution to democratizing publishing on the internet had already been huge.  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...