Shutterstock IPO Shows Power Of Marketplace Business Model

shutterstock revenue fcf

Photo: BI Intelligence

Shutterstock recently filed to raise up to $115 million in an IPO. The company has a healthy business, that has been profitable for years, with growing revenue and profits. Free cash flow in particular is healthy, totalling $36 million last year (see chart). Shutterstock is a marketplace for stock photography. The strength of the marketplace business model is reflected in Shutterstock’s strong free cash flow: once you get past the chicken-and-egg problem to get enough buyers and sellers in one place, and once you cover your fixed costs, marginal revenue leads to profit. 

Shutterstock had 204 million cumulative paid downloads last year, has 35,000 contributors, 550,000 paying customers and 19 million images on its site, according to its filing. 

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