How Does Wolfram Alpha Make Money? Wolfram Alpha Business Model Explained

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that makes money by selling a pro subscription for students and educators that starts at $4.75. It also sells apps for iTunes and Google Play Store starting at $0.99. Further, Wolfram Alpha provides APIs for startups or enterprises beginning at $25 per thousand queries. 

What is Wolfram Alpha?

Wolfram Alpha is a computational engine. In short, when you look for something through Google, the search engine looks through its massive index of web pages to find an answer that fits your query.

Therefore, most of the time, the search result is based on a web page that already exists, curated by a human. Instead, Wolfram Alpha computes the answer based on raw data it has in its curation pipeline, which gets manipulated by its algorithms to give a proper answer.

Let’s say you asked for a comparison between Apple vs. Microsoft; rather than look for data and show it. Wolfram Alpha’s engine will manipulate the raw data it has in its curation pipeline through normalization, validation, crosslinking, analysis, linguistics, expert review and so on. It eventually went to its data cloud to be further manipulated to its computation technology and give back results.

wolfram alpha

How does Wolfram Alpha make money?

It makes money by selling three kinds of products:

  • Apps for iTunes and Google Play Store

Wolfram Group LLC

  • Pro subscriptions memberships for students and educators

subscription wolfram alpha

  • APIs for startups and enterprises

Wolfram Alpha API

What are Wolfram Alpha key partners?

Wolfram Alpha has three main target customers:

  • Educators
  • Students
  • Enterprises

Wolfram Alpha vs. Google Business Model

Google’s primary business model is based on advertising. Wolfram Alpha monetizes on products (like Apps and APIs) and subscriptions. That is also why the logic behind Wolfram Alpha and Google is entirely different. Since Google monetizes by advertising, it has to give results quickly as possible. Wolfram Alpha main strength is its ability to provide an answer to complex queries (like comparison among companies’ financials).

Summary and Conclusions

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that computes answers on the fly by getting the data from its curation pipeline and after manipulating it gives back answers to its users. It is a powerful engine that has a different logic compared to Google. While Google uses its massive index to provide search results, Wolfram Alpha uses its powerful algorithms and its curated data pipeline to find an answer to complex queries.

It is true though that the difference between Google and Wolfram Alpha is getting narrower. In fact, Google uses more and more computational power to give back relevant answers to users’ queries.

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Google Business Model

Google is a platform, and a tech media company running an attention-based business model. As of 2021, Alphabet’s Google generated over $257 billion in revenues. Over $209 billion (over 81% of the total revenues) came from Google Advertising products (Google Search, YouTube Ads, and Network Members sites). They were followed by over $28 billion in other revenues (comprising Google Play, Pixel phones, and YouTube Premium), and by Google Cloud, which generated over $19 billion in 2021.

OpenAI Business Model

OpenAI has built the foundational layer of the AI industry. With large generative models like GPT-3 and DALL-E, OpenAI offers API access to businesses that want to develop applications on top of its foundational models while being able to plug these models into their products and customize these models with proprietary data and additional AI features. On the other hand, OpenAI also released ChatGPT, developing around a freemium model. Microsoft also commercializes opener products through its commercial partnership.


OpenAI and Microsoft partnered up from a commercial standpoint. The history of the partnership started in 2016 and consolidated in 2019, with Microsoft investing a billion dollars into the partnership. It’s now taking a leap forward, with Microsoft in talks to put $10 billion into this partnership. Microsoft, through OpenAI, is developing its Azure AI Supercomputer while enhancing its Azure Enterprise Platform and integrating OpenAI’s models into its business and consumer products (GitHub, Office, Bing).

Stability AI Business Model

Stability AI is the entity behind Stable Diffusion. Stability makes money from our AI products and from providing AI consulting services to businesses. Stability AI monetizes Stable Diffusion via DreamStudio’s APIs. While it also releases it open-source for anyone to download and use. Stability AI also makes money via enterprise services, where its core development team offers the chance to enterprise customers to service, scale, and customize Stable Diffusion or other large generative models to their needs.

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