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Airbnb, Reddit, Deliveroo: Huge companies that have never made a profit

·2-min read
A composite image of the Reddit app icon, a Deliveroo driver and the Airbnb app icon.
Reddit, Deliveroo and Airbnb are amongst the companies that have never turned a profit. (Source: Getty)

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.”

Rank

Company

Founded

First Profit

Years to Profit

Current Revenue(Billions)

1

Ford

1903

1903

0.5

$136.3

2

Apple

1976

1978

2.0

$365.8

3

Alphabet / Google

1998

2001

3.0

$239.2

4

Intel

1968

1971

3.0

$79.0

5

Meta / Facebook

2004

2009

5.0

$109.5

6

Fedex

1971

1976

5.0

$22.6

7

Walmart

1962

1968

6.0

$572.8

8

Netflix

1997

2003

6.0

$28.6

9

ESPN

1979

1985

6.0

$10.0

10

Zopa

2005

2011

6.0

$0.3

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.

Company

Founded

Current Revenue (Billions)

Epic

1991

$3.85

Zillow

2004

$2.70

Reddit

2005

$0.32

Airbnb

2008

$5.30

Stripe

2010

$0.65

WeWork

2010

$3.20

Blue Apron

2012

$0.54

Peloton

2012

$3.80

Deliveroo

2013

$1.20

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