As time goes on, we are slowly inching towards an AI world. That makes it a great time for tech start-ups to become prominent in the industry. The success of a business is often determined by its ability to get the basics right, and many have achieved this simple goal in the past few decades.
In this article, we feature popular start-ups that had humble beginnings but have reached huge milestones in the past few decades.
Facebook began as Facemash in 2004 – a joint venture by Mark Zuckerberg and his classmates, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Andrew McCollum. One thing led to another, and now Facebook is among the tech giants of the internet today.
Its founders may not have imagined this success when they were in their university dorm rooms, bringing it to life. At this point, everyone knows what this social media website is, and what it offers.
Twitter was released to the public in 2006. Fast forward to today, the social media website is responsible for inventing the #hashtag we now know and use today.
It may be hard to believe, but the platform initially started as an SMS service that would allow groups of people to communicate with each other. At present, Twitter has around 330 million monthly active users.
bet365 was founded by Denise Coates in 2000 and was initially operated by a small team of twelve traders. Though they had locally run betting shops, their prime focus was on the flourishing online gambling market and launched their first Bet365 website in 2001.
bet365 saw rapid success, later launching an online casino platform in 2004, a live streaming platform in 2006, an online mobile platform in 2010, and an application in 2012.
Presently, bet365 offers sports betting, poker, bingo, and other casino products in around two hundred countries worldwide. The multiple-award-winning platform also has over 23 million active users enjoying its services. Available in over 20 countries worldwide, the operator is now looking to join the growing sports betting industry in the US, which is set to be the biggest online gambling market in the globe.
Zappos was founded by Nick Swinmurn in 1999, who had a frustrating experience shopping and wanted to make that experience more convenient. He ended up turning this business idea into an e-commerce company worth billions. The original Zappos site was extremely basic and featured a few photos of shoes that Swinmurn himself took
Presently a part of Amazon, Zappos dominates the online fashion and shoe market. Zappos is now the US’ number one online shoe store. It recorded revenue worth over a billion dollars.
Dropbox was launched by Drew Houston in 2007. Houston noticed that although there were plenty of cloud storage services available on the market, most of them had annoying issues. Houston aimed to come up with a service that would provide users with a secure storage solution, mainly focusing on convenience and simplicity.
Today, Dropbox has over 50 million users, which is growing quite rapidly.
WhatsApp was built by two former Yahoo! Employees in 2009. Jan Koum and Brian Acton wanted to create a messaging application that would display users’ statuses right next to their names. They ended up creating one of the world’s most popular messaging platforms (if not the most used).
A year after the application was acquired by social media giant Facebook for over $19B, WhatsApp became the world’s most widely used messaging application. The application is the main platform for communication across counties across the Indian subcontinent, Latin America, and large parts of Africa and Europe.
GoFundMe, originally called CreateAFund, was founded by Paygr founders in 2008. GoFundMe is now the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Enabling users to raise funds for a plethora of causes, in under a decade, the platform has managed to raise over $5 billion and accepts donations worth over $140 million per month. As a result of its success, the company also went on to acquire CrowdRise in 2017.