Despite being household names around the world, some of the most well-known companies like Airbnb, Reddit and Deliveroo are yet to turn a profit.
New research from Approve.com looked at some of the most popular brands and analysed when they managed to start making money and those that still hadn't.
“There are some companies that spend years and years growing without turning a profit, compared with other companies that can create a profit in their early years and still divert money to research and development,” the research said.
Fastest companies to turn a profit
The older and well-known tech firms such as Apple and Google were among those who turned a profit quickest.
“This is potentially due to a lack of competitors at the time, compared with the rapidly expanding tech industry today,” the research said.
“Facebook, now Meta, took only five years to become profitable. While it started as a network for Ivy League colleges students, it managed to turn a profit just two years after opening to the general public.”
Years to Profit
Alphabet / Google
Meta / Facebook
Companies yet to turn a profit
Epic, creator of Epic Games (top product: Fortnite) was founded way back in 1991 and has not reported any consistent profit.
Reddit, founded in 2005, has never reported an annual profit. The business is monetised primarily through ads and premium membership plans. Nevertheless, the company’s strategy prioritises growth versus profitability for the time being.
Market-disruptive tech company Airbnb demonstrates higher revenues than some of the most successful and profitable companies, however the company has yet to turn a profit.
WeWork, a former unicorn startup with high revenues, still operates at a loss 14 years after being founded. The company’s management projects that the company will reach a breakeven point in 2022.
Current Revenue (Billions)