How Does Product Hunt Make Money? The Product Hunt Business Model In A Nutshell

Founded by Ryan Hoover in 2013 as a side project, Product Hunt turned into one of the most successful platforms to find out about new products, startups, and innovative applications. Acquired for $20 million in 2016, by AngelList, in 2018 Product Hunt added some premium features like Ship’s two subscription options. Ship is the name given to a set of tools enabling makers to ship their products. Other revenue streams comprise advertising, job search, and the Founder Club memberships.

History of Product Hunt

Product Hunt is a North American product discovery and sharing platform. According to the website, Product Hunt “surfaces the best new products, every day. It’s a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.

The company was founded by Ryan Hoover in 2013 as a side project he had no intention of turning into a business.

The service began as a simple email list, giving Hoover and his friends a place to share and discuss cool products. The list gained traction after being shared on Twitter and Quibb – a former network where entrepreneurs discussed articles.

After receiving positive feedback, Hoover reached out to friend Nathan Bashaw to turn his list into a community like Reddit. The pair then collaborated over five days to produce a very basic version of the Product Hunt website.

Three weeks after the site was launched, it had already garnered 2,000 active users. Discussion on the site was encouraged through LIVE Chats, with Hoover scheduling special guests and industry experts to hold live discussions.

In 2016, Product Hunt was acquired by AngelList for $20 million. The site continues to operate as a standalone platform with over two million monthly active users.

Product Hunt revenue generation

For the first four years in operation, Hoover focused on growing the Product Hunt community. Product Hunt to these days is one of the most powerful platforms to launch your product.

After 2018 however, some premium features were added to the platform to drive revenue.

Let’s take a look at these below.


Ship is the name given to a set of tools enabling makers to ship their products. Some of these tools include landing page creation, embeddable widgets, and email forms, surveys, direct messaging, analytics, webhooks, and A/B testing.

Aside from the free Basic plan, there are two paid options:

  1. Pro ($59/month).
  2. Super Pro ($199/month).


Advertising is also offered through the Promoted Product service which resurfaces popular products on the website homepage and newsletter.

Since only one product is promoted each day, advertising fees are based on market demand for a given date. Typical prices are around $4,000.

Jobs on Product Hunt

Product Hunt also operates a dedicated job board allowing businesses to recruit skilled product developers.

For a single job listing, the company charges $299 for an ad to be visible in the job directory for 30 days. Certain companies can also pay extra to have their job listings posted in high visibility areas.

Founder Club

For $60 per month, the Founder Club provides discounted tools to help new businesses gain traction. These include (but are not limited to):

  • AWS Activate – $5,000 in AWS Credits.
  • Stripe – wa ived fees on up to $50,000 in Stripe card processing.
  • Airtable – $1000 credit to discover niche market opportunities.
  • Pilot – 20% off Pilot bookkeeping, tax, and CFO services.
  • Doppler – 30% for three months. This service helps businesses keep their team and servers in sync and manage environmental variables with built-in access controls.

Key takeaways

  • Product Hunt is an American product discovery, discussion, and sharing platform. It was founded by Ryan Hoover in 2013 as a place to discuss cool new products with his friends.
  • Product Hunt generates revenue through its subscription service Ship, allowing product makers to distribute their products using a specific set of tools. The company also offers advertising spots on its website with somewhat unique stipulations.
  • Product Hunt charges businesses looking to hire talent a fee for posting job ads. Through its Founder Club, businesses can pay the company a monthly fee to access exclusive service discounts.

Read More: How Does TD Ameritrade Make MoneyHow Does Dave Make MoneyHow Does Webull Make MoneyHow Does Betterment Make MoneyHow Does Wealthfront Make MoneyHow Does M1 Finance Make MoneyHow Does Mint Make MoneyHow Does NerdWallet Make MoneyHow Does Acorns Make MoneyHow Does SoFi Make MoneyHow Does Stash Make MoneyHow Does Robinhood Make MoneyHow Does E-Trade Make MoneyHow Does Coinbase Make MoneyHow Does Affirm Make MoneyFintech Companies And Their Business Models.

Related FinTech Business Models

Acorns Business Model

Acorns is a fintech platform providing services related to Robo-investing and micro-investing. The company makes money primarily through three subscription tiers: Lite – ($1/month), which gives users access to Acorns Invest, Personal ($3/month) that includes Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products, Family ($5/month) with features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early.

Affirm Business Model

Starting as a pay-later solution integrated into merchants’ checkouts, Affirm makes money from merchants’ fees as consumers pick up the pay-later solution. Affirm also makes money through interest earned from the consumer loans when those are repurchased from the originating bank. In 2020 Affirm made 50% of its revenues from merchants’ fees, about 37% from interests, and the remaining from virtual cards and servicing fees.

Alipay Business Model

Alipay is a Chinese mobile and online payment platform created in 2004 by entrepreneur Jack Ma as the payment arm of Taobao, a major Chinese eCommerce site. Alipay, therefore, is the B2C component of Alibaba Group. Alipay makes money via escrow transaction fees, various value-added ancillary services, and its Credit Pay Instalment fees.

Betterment Business Model

Betterment is an American financial advisory company founded in 2008 by MBA graduate Jon Stein and lawyer Eli Broverman. Betterment makes money via investment plans, financial advice packages, betterment for advisors, betterment for business, cash reserve, and checking accounts.

Chime Business Model

Chime is an American neobank (internet-only bank) company, providing fee-free financial services through its mobile banking app, thus providing personal finance services free of charge while making the majority of its money via interchange fees (paid by merchants when consumers use their debit cards) and ATM fees.

Coinbase Business Model

Coinbase is among the most popular platforms for trading and storing crypto-assets, whose mission is “to create an open financial system for the world” by enabling customers to trade cryptocurrencies. Its platform serves both as a search and discovery engine for crypto assets. The company makes money primarily through fees earned for the transactions processed through the platform, custodial services offered, interest, and subscriptions.

Compass Business Model

Compass is a licensed American real-estate broker incorporating online real estate technology as a marketing medium. The company makes money via sales commissions (collected whenever a sale is facilitated or tenants are found for a rental property) and bridge loans (a service allowing the seller to purchase a home before the revenue from the sale of their previous home is available).

Dosh Business Model

Dosh is a Fintech platform that enables automatic cash backs for consumers. Its business model connects major card providers with online and offline local businesses to develop automatic cash back programs. The company makes money by earning an affiliate commission on each eligible sale from consumers.

E-Trade Business Model

E-Trade is a trading platform allowing investors to trade common and preferred stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, bonds, mutual funds, and futures contracts; acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2020 for $13 billion. E-Trade makes money through interest income, order flow, margin interests, options, future and bonds trading, and other fees and service charges.

Klarna Business Model

Klarna is a financial technology company allowing consumers to shop with a temporary Visa card. Thus it then performs a soft credit check and pays the merchant. Klarna makes money by charging merchants. Klarna also earns a percentage of interchange fees as a commission and for interests earned on customers’ accounts.

Lemonade Business Model

Lemonade is an insurance tech company using behavioral economics and artificial intelligence to process claims efficiently. The company leverages technology to streamline onboarding customers while also applying a financial model to reduce conflicts of interest with customers (perhaps by donating the variable premiums to charity). The company makes money by selling its core insurance products, and via its tech platform, it tries to enhance its sales.

NerdWallet Business Model

NerdWallet is an online platform providing tools and tips on all matters related to personal finance. The company gained traction as a simple web application comparing credit cards. NerdWallet makes money via affiliate commissions determined according to the affiliate agreements.

Robinhood Business Model

Robinhood is an app that helps to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free. Robinhood earns money by offering: Robinhood Gold, a margin trading service, which starts at $6 a month, earns interests from customer cash and stocks, and rebates from market makers and trading venues.

SoFi Business Model

SoFi is an online lending platform that provides affordable education loans to students, and it expanded into financial services, including loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance. It makes money primarily via payment processing fees and loan securitization.

Stash Business Model

Stash is a FinTech platform offering a suite of financial tools for young investors, personalized investment advice, and life insurance. The company primarily makes money via subscriptions, cashback, payment for order flows, and interest for cash sitting on members’ accounts.

Wealthfront Business Model

Wealthfront is an automated Fintech investment platform providing investment, retirement, and cash management products to retail investors, mostly making money on the annual 0.25% advisory fee the company charges for assets under management. It also makes money via a line of credits and interests on the cash accounts.

Zelle Business Model

Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment network that indirectly benefits the banks’ consortium that backs it. Zelle also enables users to pay businesses for goods and services free for users. Merchants pay a 1% fee to Visa or Mastercard, who share it with the bank that issued the card.

Read Next: Fintech Business Models, IaaS, PaaS, SaaSEnterprise AI Business ModelCloud Business Models.

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top