50+ business models examples

Discover innovative business models, see visualizations of their different revenue streams, and copy ideas for your startup.

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How and when to use it

Who is this for?

When you need to pick a business model for your startup or new corporate venture, there are many options to explore. To make it easier, we’ve handpicked dozens of innovative revenue models and partnership ideas.

Browse these business model examples and copy the ideas that fit your company’s needs. Feel free to use all the cases and tools as inspiration for your business plan.

Business design is our specialty, so if you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our customizable business design programs can help you choose the right business model, identify new opportunities, increase speed to market, and create profitable ventures.

A deck full of examples

How to choose the right business model?

A comprehensive deck full of business model examples

This guide features +100 slides that will help you in your selection process. We highlight different tips & tricks used by startups.

How to make money

Business model inspiration

How do I make money? 
You’ll find the most common business model options used by e-businesses and online services, but this list is not limited to digital revenue streams.


Free (or nearly free) for the user

  • Early exit strategy
  • Pay-what-you-want (PWYW)
  • Tip jar/donation
  • Freemium model
  • Barter or swapping for services
  • Barter or swapping for products

Third party options

  • Advertisement (ad-based) model
  • Affiliate/referral fee
  • Get-one-give-one model (G1G1)
  • Franchise model

Mixed business model

  • Razor and blade model
  • Crowdfunding
  • Open source model
  • No frills model (discount or budget model)


  • Commission-based model
  • Auction model

Paid (direct sales business model)

  • Subscription model
  • Premium model
  • Pay-per-use model
  • Add-ons/In-app purchases
  • License fees
  • Single purchase model
  • Pay-as-you-go model (PAYG)

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A set of inspiration

Companies to learn from

Page 1: All the essential information is captured in a clean visual to help you easily understand how each company actually works.

Page 2: For each card, we’ve added related business models. We’ve also highlighted the most innovative components of every venture.

Doorsteps sells its online service via a subscription fee to agents and loan offices. But it also takes a commission on the services of other providers, who receive leads through the platform.


Sanergy generates revenue by selling fertilizer made out of human manure to other companies. They collect this waste through their not-for-profit franchising brand “Fresh Life Toilets,” which in turn supports entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Patients Like Me offers a free health community service to its users. They make money by selling the data, generated by the community, to pharmaceutical companies.

Jawbone UP makes money by selling data tracking wristbands at a retail price of $129.99. Users can use the free app to get insights into this data.


Kaggle makes money in two ways: With Kaggle competition, they receive a “listening fee” for each competition posted on the platform. Also, they provide a service for matching companies to the top 0.5% of their community, which they call Kaggle Connect.


23andMe makes money with personal genetic tests, providing reports on lineage discovery & +240 health conditions. It’s believed that their DNA research studies & surveys will soon be an additional way of making money, with a mainly B2B focus instead of B2C.


Friendsurance works as a broker between Policy Holders and existing Insurance Partners. They’re letting customers share risks with friends, allowing them to lower prices due to reduced fraud & process costs, better risk pools, etc.


AliveCor makes money by selling ECG devices ($199) that fit on existing smartphones and via their AliveInsights Service – a professional analysis service that makes it easy to get expert insight on your ECG readings.


Offering their motivational service for free, GymPact makes money by taking a cut when they pay out rewards to members who successfully met their Pact.


This partnership has two revenue streams:
– A reduction in cost by lowering the ink consumption.
– The supplier taking back waste material makes it possible to sell unused ink again.


3D Hubs takes a commission of 15% on every 3D-printed product ordered through the platform.


Narrative (Memoto) sold camera devices ($279), and offered a subscription service for the data storage system ($9/month). Different apps were set to be included in the subscription service.


Changers makes money by selling solar panels + batteries. In the Changers shop, where community members can redeem credits for products and services, they give exposure to green brands, which pay a commission fee for the leads.


Decide works as a broker between people that want to buy the best deal, and retail companies like Amazon. Besides their free product advice, they also provide a pro-service from $2.5/month offering additional services like price guarantees, indications of the best time to buy….


Providing the platform for ‘free,’ Airbnb takes a 3% commission on the host‘s earnings and asks a booking fee of 6-12% to guests for every booking they make.


Glow sells “data insights” regarding conceiving to Research Institutions & gives exposure to trustworthy Infertility Treatment Clinics. The data is generated by users who use the Glow free fertility-tracking app.


SFpark makes money by providing parking spaces in the San Francisco city area. Parking prices are incrementally raised or lowered in SFpark regions based on demand.


Giffgaff works as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. MVNOs have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) which they then sell to their own customers.


Shiply works as a broker, taking a commission on transactions. Transport service providers’ bids are subjected to a tiered fee structure (4%-10%, depending on the amount of the transaction) called the success fee. Additional, an Auction Service Fee is requested which covers the online service.


ASAP54 makes money by selling items from partner retailers to consumers, upon which ASAP54 earns an average commission of 5% per item sold.


SFR telecommunications works in a partnership model with other service providers. After a set-up fee, local school administration, taking a 3-year commitment, pay a monthly subscription fee to a separate leasing company, who disburses it to the different service providers.


Uber takes a 5-20% commission on all the rides made through its service. Since all payments are done automatically through the app, Uber is sure to capture a part of each transaction.


Alfa Bank requires their new sportive customers, who are interested in the free “Alfa Activity” account, to sign up for a regular bank account – which costs 59 Rubles (€1,20) per month – and a free internet account called “Alfa Click.”


Drivers pre-pay their energy for the next 10 years, Tesla on its turn invests the money in the Supercharger network and makes sure the energy provided becomes cheaper. Furthermore, competitors pay Tesla for every car using the network.


Karma sells the Karma hotspot for $99 and additional bandwidth for $14 per gigabyte. If you’d like to purchase a data pack, Karma offers some discounts: $50/5Gb & $180/20Gb

Don’t stop here

Relevant tools & guides

Revenue model flowchart B2C

An easy-to-use poster to find new B2C revenue models and decide which are right for you.

Energy business model examples

5 innovative revenue frameworks and partnership ideas from within the energy industry. Copy elements of these energy business models for your company.

Social impact partnerships flowchart

Use our Partnership Flowchart to see what partnership type is the most suitable in your case.

26 revenue model examples (B2C)

Explore 26 different revenue model examples that you can copy. Read this guide and learn how you can leverage innovative revenue streams used by B2C startups.

Social-in-circular lifecycle diagram

The Social-in-circular Lifecycle Diagram lets you identify if your circular practices address social impact. 

Vision card

The vision card will help you expand your concept by adding early business model details and enabling you to begin crafting your customer value proposition.

One step closer to meaningful innovation

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