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revenue model startup

Revenue Model Startup (New Update)

Every startup develops a viable business model that promises massive returns within a specific time frame. However, for a company to survive in this highly competitive environment, it must generate revenue while also making investments. Hence, to achieve this, social entrepreneurs work very hard to create revenue models for startups that are sustainable. They do have to concentrate on several BM components while designing them. But how do business models and revenue models relate to one another? And what does “revenue model” actually mean? We will discuss the critical distinctions between these two ideas in this blog.

What is the difference between a business model and a revenue model?

Business models and revenue models are frequently used interchangeably. Let’s rapidly clarify these two concepts that make up a corporate plan to prevent any misconceptions. First, let us discuss them individually:

Business model  

It explains the logical links and how a business creates value for its consumers in a comprehensive and model-like fashion. A company can use multiple business models concurrently.

Revenue model

It explains the framework of how a business earns income or revenue. Each client group can have one or more revenue streams.

How the Revenue model differs from the Business model

  • The business model explains how an organization creates value.
  • The revenue model explains how a business derives profit from the value it creates for clients.

Therefore, the Revenue Model is an essential business model component.

What is the revenue model of your startup?

A revenue model is a theoretical framework that establishes and describes the business’s method of generating money. They are structures for generating revenue. This revenue model technique controls the resources needed for each revenue stream and the company’s revenue streams. It contains the valuable product or service, the methods for generating income, the sources of income, and the demographics of the provided product’s intended buyer.

Types of Revenue Models

Since there are many different revenue model types and many of them have other names in the startup world, this list intends to list only some of them. However, the ten most common and successful revenue models used by large and small businesses are listed below.

1. Ad-based Revenue Model

The Ad-based revenue model involves producing advertisements for a particular website, service, app, or other product and distributing them through targeted, busy channels. One of the most popular ways to receive advertisements is through Google’s AdSense if your business has a website or is a web-based business. AdSense generates $5 to $10 for every 1,000-page view for most websites.

Here are Ad-based Revenue Model Examples

  • Search engines: YouTube and Google
  • Social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram

2. Affiliate Revenue Model

The affiliate income model, which can be used individually or in conjunction with adverts and generates revenue by pushing links to relevant products and earning commissions on purchases of those products, is another well-known web-based revenue source.

Examples of Affiliate Revenue Models

  • LifeWire
  • Awin.com 
  • Wirecutter

3. Transactional Revenue Model

Many businesses, both tech-focused and not, aim to rely on the transactional revenue model, and for good reason. One of the most straightforward strategies is to provide a good or service to clients and receive payment from them..

Examples of Transactional Revenue Models

  • Online retailers like eBay
  • Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter

4. Subscription Revenue Model

To use the subscription revenue model, you must provide your consumers with a good or service that they may pay for over a longer period, typically from month to month or even from year to year.

Models of Subscription-Based Revenue

  • OTT apps like Netflix
  • Publishing firms like Fortune.com and Medium.com
  • OTT Apps like Netflix

5. Sales Revenue Model – Direct, Indirect, and Web

The sales revenue model is the most popular of the top revenue models for startups. It involves one or more of your customers or clients purchasing your goods or services directly, indirectly, or online.

Web sales: A customer purchases your product after visiting your website.

Direct sales: The customer contacts you directly or visits your location to purchase your goods or services. Or your customer conducts a face-to-face business with one of your agents to buy your goods or sign up for your service.

Indirect sales: Resellers selling your goods or services are considered indirect sales.

Examples of Direct Sales Revenue Models – Amazon, Buy.com, and Etsy

6. Freemium Model

A freemium business model requires consumers to pay for premium features, extensions, functions, etc., as well as the company’s free essential services. The most well-known business/social networking platform, LinkedIn, is one of the most prominent organizations that adopt this strategy.

Examples of Freemium Revenue Models

  • Channels for social networking: LinkedIn 
  • Tools: Flicker, MozBar, Evernote, Semrush

7. Peer-to-Peer Revenue Model

Peer-to-peer models are among the best revenue strategies for companies since they offer a platform that benefits the users on opposing sides.

Upwork is a well-known illustration of the peer-to-peer business model. This platform effectively acts as a marketplace where different startups can find and hire freelancers, as well as where freelancers can find clients.

Examples of Peer-to-Peer Revenue Models : Airbnb & Upwork

How do you create a revenue model for a startup?

Creating a revenue model for your company is likely the best approach to start and maintain a good financial situation for your firm. A carefully considered and reliable revenue plan completes the picture for potential investors.

Here are the seven essential factors to keep in mind when developing an efficient model, according to our experience:

1. Choose the appropriate startup and expertise.

You might employ engineers who are business savvy and have a solid technological model. Additionally, you may be aware of the phase of research and development you are in as well as your plans. Use this information to decide which income model suits you the best.

Depending on your business type, your revenue estimates may need to be either linear or exponential. You might need to build to scale to demonstrate the viability of your revenue model, or you might choose to start with a smaller model to lower the capital risk before growing. The model that aids in your development is the ideal one.

2. Establish a structure for expressing the value

What sets your goods and services apart from those of the competition? Your distinct value proposition should be communicated in your revenue model. A unique selling point, for instance, is providing an outstanding service that customers will sign up for.

3. Create a revenue strategy that can aid your search for investors.

You can improve your pitch by making development decisions that convince potential investors that you are a worthwhile investment. Be strategic; concentrate on locating investors who share your values and are committed to the project over the long term. Choose investors who are willing to wait to reap long-term rewards.

4. Specify an acceptable timeline for projections.

Investors will inquire when they anticipate seeing a return on their investment. They’ll be interested in learning about your immediate and long-term goals. They’ll also ask when you expect to reach cash flow positive. Your revenue model is frequently the source of the financial estimates you use to attract investors.

5. Your revenue model is dynamic

Even if your overall strategy doesn’t change, your model will likely evolve. You also have an option in the model. If your business provides services, you could provide subscriptions or one-on-one services. Avoid confining yourself to a single arrangement at all costs. If the model is no longer accurate in capturing your company’s realities, make the necessary changes and update your projection.

6. Identify the essential elements that sustain your company.

The most important factors to your business will vary as it progresses. But regardless of stage, search for the factors that have the most significant impact on your income. To treat each discrete variable separately, be sure to declare them. You may monitor performance over time, evaluate the inputs and look up baseline values for each variable. Graphing the variables on a sensitivity graph is a fantastic method to isolate them and see how each affects income. This will demonstrate how modifications and their effect on your revenue impact them.

7. Adjust for variables

The first step in risk management is to recognize and comprehend your main risk factors so you can take appropriate action. Try not to hide anything because investors will eventually figure it out. By accounting for variables, you and your investors will experience greater transparency, confidence, and comprehension.

When it comes to revenue models, there are many alternatives. But not making a decision isn’t one of them. For a startup to succeed, it is a requirement.


Which model is mainly used by startups?

The freemium model, which uses a tiered approach to incorporate free and premium services into one business model, is one of the more well-liked business strategies for companies.

Which revenue model is best?

The transactional revenue model is one of the best and most straightforward revenue models for startups. To make money, you must sell goods and services.

How many times revenue is a startup worth?

One-time sales within a specific range and two times the sales revenue are typically used to estimate a business’s value. This indicates that, depending on the multiple chosen, the company’s valuation can range from $1 million to $2 million.


Every company develops a realistic business plan and promises enormous profits after a certain amount of time. However, generating money and investing are crucial for a business to survive in this fiercely competitive environment. Therefore, be careful when selecting your revenue model.

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