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Growth Studies

  • Airbnb's new logo

    Airbnb: The Growth Story You Didn’t Know

    Airbnb is now a household name that has surpassed industry legacy Hilton Hotels in nights booked. As of spring 2014, the platform had 10 million guests and 550,000 properties listed worldwide, along with a $10B valuation—making Airbnb worth more than legacy players like Wyndham and Hyatt. Read on to find out how they got here.

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  • WhatsApp is bought by Facebook

    WhatsApp, The Anti-Marketing Growth Phenomenon

    By November 2011, WhatsApp had become the No. 1 paid social app for iOS, and had been downloaded 10 million times on Android. WhatsApp went on to raise another $50M from Sequoia in July of 2013. And in February of 2014 the company was acquired by Facebook for $19B, the largest to date for a venture-backed company.

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  • LinkedIn expanded it's mobile offerings.

    LinkedIn Growth Engine: The Never Ending Viral Loop

    Within four months, LinkedIn had hit the 50,000 user mark, and the company, behind the bonafides of its founding team and early promise, landed $4.7M in venture capital from Sequoia Capital in its first major financing round. Within a year of launch, they’d reached 500,000 users…

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  • Yelp mobile app

    Yelp’s Five-Star Growth Engine

    In 2012, Yelp opened on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation of about $898 million. By September 30, 2013, they had accumulated 47 million reviews, with an average of 117 million monthly visitors, according to the company’s own numbers. When Yelp came on the scene, IAC’s local review site CitySearch was the dominant player, having been up and running for around a decade while accumulating over 112,000 restaurant reviews. Yet by early 2007, Yelp had left CitySearch in the dust…

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  • GitHub Office image

    GitHub’s Secret Super Powers — The Stuff That Makes GitHub Great (Part 2)

    In Part 2 of our GitHub analysis, we cover the remaining pieces of their growth engine – from their unique approach on company culture, to community outreach, and more…

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  • GitHub Octocat

    GitHub – Cracking the Code to GitHub’s Growth

    How has GitHub grown from a self-proclaimed “weekend project” in 2008 to what is arguably the world’s most powerful software development tool, with a $750M valuation and adding 10,000 new users on average every weekday?

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  • Upworthy growth chart image

    Upworthy (Part 2) — 88 Million Uniques, But Will This Kill Upworthy?

    While Upworthy’s ascent to the top of the digital media landscape has been impressive, there are questions about its viability as a long-term media player. Pressure from competition—new and old—as well as an over-reliance on Facebook and the pressure to crank out a never-ending string of hit content have created a situation that demands continuous innovation to stay ahead of challengers. The question is, can it?

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  • Upworthy Featured Image

    Upworthy — What Happens When a Growth Hacker Launches a Media Company

    Upworthy launched on March 26th, 2012, and just seven months later, they were getting almost 9 million monthly uniques visitors. In November of 2013, just 20 months later, Upworthy saw close to 88M unique visitors worldwide, with mobile visitors eclipsing desktop viewers for the first time. Those 88 million put Upworthy just behind online publishing powerhouse Gawker, according to a memo from Gawker Publisher Nick Denton, with it’s sights set on Buzzfeed with their 133 million monthly uniques.

    Continue Reading 13 discussing
  • Hubspot image

    HubSpot – How to Grow a Billion Dollar B2B Growth Engine

    HubSpot invented the term Inbound Marketing, and has lived it’s mantra, driving their business from an idea in 2004 to a $50M+ run rate in 2012 in the competitive marketing tools and services category. But is the story that simple? A deeper dive reveals that a deep belief in metrics, an organizational focus on growth, and a commitment to sales excellence has fueled their explosive rise.

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  • Evernote for iOS image

    Evernote – The $0 Growth Engine

    Evernote has never been sexy, almost ran out of money, and doesn’t benefit from the network effects that drive many of today’s successful companies. Yet Evernote’s 75 million users and $1+ billion valuation prove they’ve figured out their own unique growth engine. So what is it? And how did they get those first 100,000 users?

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  • Snapchat image

    Snapchat – How Did Snapchat Reach a Multi-Billion Dollar Valuation?

    The beginning of Snapchat, a photo and video messaging application for iPhone & Android is shrouded in controversy, yet one thing is clear –  the idea dreamed up by fraternity brothers from Stanford goes far beyond just being a “sexting” app. Dismissing the controversy is a mistake; but by not over-positioning itself as a “sexting” app, Snapchat was able to change how we think about how photos and videos are shared.

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  • Uber App image

    Uber — What’s Fueling Uber’s Growth Engine?

    What began in 2009 as a luxury car service in San Francisco is now valued at $3.76 billion and operates in more than 35 cities worldwide. As of August of this year, Google Ventures has officially cast their vote of confidence in the startup with a $258 million investment—a full 86% of their $300 million annual budget—and for good reason.

    Continue Reading 15 discussing
  • Belly Card image

    Belly – How to Grow a Network Effects Startup, Lessons from Belly Card

    You may not have heard of Belly, but what they’ve achieved by building a multi-sided marketplace business in the notoriously difficult small business market is nothing short of impressive.

    Continue Reading 10 discussing
  • Square card reader image

    Square – How Did Square Grow So Quickly?

    By combining an elegant integrated payments system with a distinctive conversation-triggering piece of hardware, Square has disrupted the credit card payments establishment while making credit card processing more accessible to small businesses everywhere.

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