30 Startup Business Models

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A business model is the backbone of any successful venture, as it provides a foundational framework that outlines how a business creates, delivers, and captures value.

There are dozens of different business models type. We will start by describing the 12 most important ones and then we will present the full list of 31 Startup Business Models with concrete examples of companies that implement them.

Note that if you are in the Ideation or Business Development phase you might be able to grab some ideas and even to integrate several elements and thinking from multiple models to build your own. You don't necessarily have to limit your business operation to ene of these models.

Main Types of Business Models

There isn't a fixed number of business models, as they can vary widely based on industry, market dynamics, and specific company strategies.

However, there are several common archetypes or categories of business models that companies often adopt. These are some of the most prevalent types:

E-commerce Model
Subscription Model
Freemium Model
Advertising Model
Affiliate Model
Franchise Model
Direct Sales Model
Marketplace Model
Razor and Blades Model
B2B (Business-to-Business) Model
Crowdsourcing Model
Sharing Economy Model

1. E-commerce Model

The E-Commerce model enables businesses to sell products or services online, in which all transactions are conducted electronically. Examples include Amazon and eBay.

2. Subscription Model

Customers pay a recurring fee for access to a product or service. Examples include Netflix and Spotify.

3. Freemium Model

Offers a basic service for free and charges for premium features or advanced functionalities. Examples include Dropbox and LinkedIn.

4. Advertising Model

Revenue is generated by selling advertising space or promoting products and services. Examples include Google and Facebook.

5. Affiliate Model

Earns revenue by promoting other companies' products or services and earning a commission on sales. Examples include affiliate marketing websites.

6. Franchise Model

Allows individuals (franchisees) to operate their own businesses using the branding and support of a larger company (franchisor). Examples include McDonald's and Subway.

7. Direct Sales Model

Products or services are sold directly to customers without intermediaries. Examples include Avon and Tupperware.

8. Marketplace Model

Facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers, often taking a commission on each sale. Examples include Etsy and Airbnb.

9. Razor and Blades Model

Sells a core product at a low price and generates recurring revenue through the sale of related consumables or accessories. Examples include Gillette razors and printer companies selling ink cartridges.

10. B2B (Business-to-Business) Model

Sells products or services to other businesses rather than to end consumers. Examples include Salesforce and IBM.

11. Crowdsourcing Model

Leverages a large group of people or a community to contribute ideas, solutions, or funding. Examples include Kickstarter and Wikipedia.

12. Sharing Economy Model

Enables individuals to share resources, such as transportation or accommodations, often facilitated through a digital platform. Examples include Uber and Airbnb.

Full List of 30 Startup Business Models (32 slides)

This presentation was compiled by Navdeep Yadav.

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