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10 of the Most Successful Online Side Hustles Ever Launched

10 of the Most Successful Online Side Hustles Ever Launched

Starting an online side hustle can come from either inspiration or desperation. It doesn’t matter where or how the idea came from but an idea acted on, kicks the ass of any idea ignored. 

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Inspiration

Many side hustles start from an observation of a problem that the founder observes or experiences. This can be seen as inspiration. 

I’ll give you an example. Uber.

The idea for Uber came about when Kalanick and Camp were attending LeWeb, a technology conference in Paris. They were unable to find a taxi, and the experience inspired them to create a mobile app that would make it easy for people to find and book transportation.

Desperation

Sometimes side hustles are born from desperation such as being unable to pay the bills or put food on the table. 

Another example. Airbnb.

The founders had a hard time making ends meet and they came up with the idea of renting out airbeds in their apartment to attendees of a design conference in San Francisco. This was the first time someone had rented out their home to travelers and it was the start of a whole new way of traveling. 

Online side hustles have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people look for ways to make extra money or build a business outside of their traditional 9-to-5 jobs. While there are countless online side hustles to choose from, some have been more successful than others. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 of some of the top most successful online side hustles ever launched. 

Nothing like dreaming of success and a big payday.

Etsy 

Etsy is an e-commerce website that focuses on handmade or vintage items and supplies. The platform was launched in 2005 by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik, and it quickly became a go-to destination for people looking to buy unique and one-of-a-kind items. 

The founders of Etsy, Kalin, Maguire, and Schoppik, were all artists and crafters who saw a need for an online platform that would allow artisans to sell their products directly to consumers.

They were frustrated by the high fees and lack of visibility on larger e-commerce sites, which made it difficult for independent creators to make a living. 

In 2007, Etsy received an investment of $27 million from Accel Partners, which helped the company to expand its services and reach a wider audience. 

Today, Etsy has more than 60 million active buyers and over 2.5 million active sellers. The platform generated over $2.84 billion in revenue in 2020.

Uber  

Uber is a ride-sharing platform that allows individuals to earn money by driving passengers around in their own vehicles. The company was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp and was initially launched in San Francisco. 

The idea for Uber came about when Kalanick and Camp were attending LeWeb, a technology conference in Paris. They were unable to find a taxi, and the experience inspired them to create a mobile app that would make it easy for people to find and book transportation.

They soon realized that it was not only the taxi industry that was in need of disruption but rather the whole transportation industry. 

Uber has since expanded to over 600 cities in more than 65 countries, and it has become one of the most recognizable and successful companies in the world. In 2020, Uber generated $14.1 billion in revenue. 

Airbnb  

Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people looking for a place to stay with people who have a spare room or home to rent out.

The company was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk and it started as a way for the founders to make ends meet by renting out airbeds in their apartments to conference attendees. 

The company was initially called “AirBed & Breakfast”, which was a play on the word “bed and breakfast”. 

The founders had a hard time making ends meet and they came up with the idea of renting out airbeds in their apartment to attendees of a design conference in San Francisco. This was the first time someone had rented out their home to travelers and it was the start of a whole new way of traveling. 

Today, Airbnb has over 7 million listings in over 220 countries and territories, and it generated over $3 billion in revenue in 2020. 

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Dropbox  

Dropbox is a cloud storage and file-sharing service that allows users to store and share files online. The company was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi and started as a way for Houston to solve his own problem of constantly forgetting his USB drive. 

Drew realized that he needed a better way to store and share his files. The company was started as a simple solution to this problem, and it quickly grew in popularity. Today, Dropbox has over 600 million registered users, and it generated over $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020.

TaskRabbit 

TaskRabbit is a platform that connects people with local freelancers for various tasks such as cleaning, handyman services, and delivery. 

The company was founded in 2008 by Leah Busque, who came up with the idea while she was running out of dog food and realized there wasn’t an easy way to find someone to run to the store for her. 

The company was started as a way to make it easier for people to outsource small tasks, and it quickly grew in popularity. 

Today, TaskRabbit operates in more than 40 cities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and it generated over $200 million in revenue in 2020. 

Shopify 

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows small businesses to set up an online store and sell their products. The company was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Scott Lake, and Daniel Weinand, and it started as a platform for Lütke to sell snowboards online. 

The idea for Shopify came from the co-founders’ own struggle to sell snowboards online. They were frustrated with the limited e-commerce options available at the time and saw an opportunity to create a platform that would make it easier for small business owners to sell products online. This led to the creation of Shopify, which was designed to be an all-in-one e-commerce solution for small businesses.

In 2021, Shopify had a successful year with revenue growth of 96% and over one million active businesses using its platform. Shopify’s Gross Merchandise Volume was $136.3 billion for the first three-quarters of 2022.

Postmates

Postmates is a company that provides on-demand delivery services for various types of goods, including food, groceries, and retail products. It was founded in 2011 in San Francisco, California, with the goal of making local delivery as fast and convenient as possible.

Postmates connects customers with local couriers who pick up and deliver items within a specified time frame. The company has since expanded to many cities across the United States and offers a mobile app for customers to place their delivery orders.

In 2020, Postmates generated over $1.2 billion in revenue and operates in more than 4,200 cities across the United States, making it one of the most successful online side hustles ever launched. 

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GrubHub  

GrubHub has played a major role in revolutionizing the food delivery industry. Before GrubHub’s inception, customers had to call restaurants directly to place takeout orders, but GrubHub changed that by allowing customers to easily discover and order from local restaurants through its platform.

The company was one of the first food delivery companies to develop a comprehensive online and mobile ordering system, which made it much easier for people to get the food they wanted delivered to their door.

Today, GrubHub is one of the largest food delivery companies in the United States, serving millions of customers and partnering with hundreds of thousands of restaurants nationwide. In 2020, GrubHub generated over $3 billion in revenue, which is why its made this list of one of the most successful online side hustles.

Instacart  

Instacart was started in 2012 with the goal of making grocery shopping more convenient and accessible. The company offers a same-day grocery delivery service, allowing customers to shop for groceries online and have them delivered to their door within a few hours.

Instacart was founded in response to the growing demand for more convenient and accessible grocery options, as more people sought ways to save time and avoid the hassle of traditional grocery shopping.

The company leverages a network of personal shoppers who select and deliver groceries to customers, offering a simple and convenient solution for busy people who want to get groceries without leaving their homes.

In 2020, Instacart generated over $2 billion in revenue and operates in more than 5,500 cities across the United States, earning its place as one of the most successful online side hustles.

Rover

The idea for Rover came from founder Aaron Easterly’s personal experience of having a hard time finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter for his dog. He set out to create a platform that would make it easier for pet owners to find and book pet care services, and also create a way for pet sitters and dog walkers to find work in a flexible and easy way.

Rover has faced some challenges over the years, such as intense competition and legal challenges over the classification of its pet sitters and dog walkers. However, the company has managed to grow and keep a steady revenue. In 2020, Rover generated over $150 million in revenue and operates in more than 10,000 cities.

The wrap

These online side hustles have been able to generate significant revenue and have become some of the most successful companies in the world. Each of them started as small ideas that grew to fill a gap in the market. 

They all have grown to become some of the most recognized and successful companies in the world. With the rise of technology and the internet, online side hustles have become a viable and profitable option for many entrepreneurs.

The above list of the 10 most successful online side hustles ever launched by revenue is not exhaustive, but it gives an idea of the potential and opportunities available online. So what are you waiting for? Start your online side hustle today!

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