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 Also: How Does AngelList Make Money, How Does Reddit Make Money, How Does Kickstarter Make Money, LinkedIn Multi-Sided Platform Business Model, How Does Twitter Make Money, How Does Quora Make Money.

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