Was the estimated $100 million in 2009 revenue for Craigslist too low?

Wired’s Epicenter seems to think so. They conducted their own calculations and determined that it could be as much as three times that initial estimate.

And thereby hangs a tale. The craigslist factsheet itself provides evidence the company generates at least $300 million — three times the AIM estimate.

Do the math:

Q: How many job listings does craigslist receive?
A: More than 1 million new job listings each month

Q: How much are job ads?
A: $25 in most cities, $75 in SF.

So, a conservative top line number would seem to be $300,000,000 (1 million x 12 months x $25). This assumes no ads in San Francisco at all, which is impossible.

A breakdown of the cities that craigslist charges anything lists 19 big markets where they collect $25, and one (San Francisco) where they get $75. That leaves hundreds of places where they get $0, and that may account for what seems like an enormous disparity that craigslist won’t comment about at all. “… We have never discussed our revenue at any time, so the plethora of numbers that have been reported over the years are merely guesses of which we’ve had no part — this most recent study included.”

One Comment

  1. Bloggasm » The perils of predicting the profitability of internet companies Says:

    [...] get squabbles over whether Craigslist will bring in $100 million or $300 million this year. You get debates over whether Facebook is, in fact, profitable. And you even have wildly different [...]


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