Hottest Service and Data Driven Online Businesses of 2015 and Beyond

Hottest Service and Data Driven Online Businesses of 2015 and Beyond


Entrepreneurs that don’t want to bother with warehousing, shipping, and returns go for a service driven online venture rather than a product based one. But even amongst service based businesses, options are endless. In fact, it is often said that launching a service based online startup can be as tricky as choosing a girl to ask for high school prom:

  • You can choose any business (you can ask any girl).
  • Out of these, any business model might work (any girl might say yes).
  • Finding the business model that will work is the real concern (choosing a girl that says yes is the difficult part)

That said, choosing service based venture is not rocket science either. There are many that have proven success rate and visible demand. The trick, of course, is to pick the one that guarantees maximum returns. At FATbit, we take cognizance of the complexities faced by entrepreneurs in choosing a particular business idea. This why we prepared this list of all the lucrative and growth oriented service based businesses.

Go through these businesses and find the one best suited to your startup vision and online business plans:


If we have to choose one sector besides lifestyle & apparel which has gained huge traction in recent years, then, it is surely the transportation sector. As the cost of owning a vehicle is increasing day-by-day, and traffic vows are adding fire to the situation, consumers have started to incline towards cab rental services. It all started with online cab booking aggregators but over the years, several niche business models have emerged within this industry. Let’s have a look at some of the popular transportation related ventures:

Online cab booking: The new crop of taxi booking service startups like OLA and Uber has redefined the public transport services. A vital thing to note is that they only provide online booking platforms. These are essentially aggregators with an asset-light business model where they do not own the cars but focus on the technology and backend to link drivers with customers. You can read more about such business model here.

Ridesharing: The popularity of online cab booking service created a new market. Rather than using on-demand cab services, consumers prefer using ride-sharing services where people going to the same place share a cab and split the expenses. It is an economical way of transportation and companies like Lyft and blabla car have created a niche for themselves in this arena.

Self-drive: As discussed earlier, the cost of owning a car has increased substantially which is why consumers prefer cab-booking service. However, booking a cab does not provide the sense of ease that personal car brings. This is why companies like Zipcar and Zoomcars came into existence. They provide the best of both worlds by removing the hassle of maintaining the car and providing the sense of privacy while driving.

On-Demand Professional Services

One of the biggest benefits of technology has been access to data and ease of information search. This has given rise to on-demand professional services. With a click of a button, consumer can now connect with, and hire vast range of professionals. This has resulted in various business models catering to a niche segment.

Day-to-day errands: Hectic work life sometimes leaves no time for small tasks. Entrepreneurs recognized this problem and launched applications through which you can hire house help or pay someone to buy groceries. Online marketplaces like TaskRabbit are based on a peer-to-peer business model, which allows users to outsource small task/jobs to others in the neighbourhood. In return, taskers get to earn money by doing these small jobs. The platform takes a commission on every task completed. To ensure you have all the ingredients for building such a website, check out the business model for service professional marketplace here.

Service Professionals: The business model of UrbanClap and Homejoy has seen huge attention from entrepreneurs. Suppose you are sitting at home and need professional services like a yoga instructor, repairman or a carpenter. Your best answer is a peer-to-peer marketplace which can connect you with service professionals with a click of a button. The popularity of such platforms is evident from the fact that many platforms have received millions in funding. Get a more detailed analysis of this business model here.

Pet Care: There are times when you have to go out on a holiday but are unable to take your pet with you. This has resulted in a huge market for pet sitters who can take care of the pets while the owners are out of town. Rover is one such peer-to-peer marketplaces where dog owners can find pet sitters. It has received more than $50 million in funding. To find out about script features necessary to build a pet car marketplace, read this post.

MircoJobs: In the current age where the internet has removed the communication barrier, finding relevant people to get some job done has become easy. Therefore, a platform for millions of Gigs is set to be a sure shot winner. A clear example is a marketplace like Fiverr, which has received $51 million in funding. You can get a more information on such business model by going through this detailed analysis.

Babysitter: Just like pet sitter, another service professional based business model which has huge potential is a marketplace for babysitters. SitterCity is a neat example of such a marketplace where regular people get to earn part time money while parents find trustworthy babysitters. It has received $48 million in funding. In order to find all the essential features for building a local babysitter search platform read this post.


Technology has made it easy for consumers to plan and book their travel itineraries. Gone are those days when users had to visit a travel agent and go through huge amount to hassle to book a vacation. Now all they have to do is visit online platforms related to hospitality sector and book everything, from travel tickets to hotel rooms.

Bed and breakfasts: Why book a hotel room when you can get a local home stay. This concept has taken the hotel industry by storm. A platform like Airbnb will surely be a hit for travellers searching local spaces to rent. Airbnb has received a mammoth $2.3 billion in funding and valued at $25 billion. To find out, what makes such platform click, read this post.

Hotel Booking: One of the biggest e-commerce markets these days is related to online hotel booking sector. There are several hotel aggregators, which allow consumers to find relevant hotel rooms as per their requirement. Platforms like and Expedia, in particular, generates revenue of more than $1 billion each year.

Comparison: When there are a dozen of hotel aggregators, sometimes it becomes difficult to find the best deal. This is where comparison websites like Trivago come into action. It is a hotel price comparison website and works on affiliate marketing business model. As far as funding is concerned, it has received more than $1.1 million.

Premium budget rooms: We have talked about hotel aggregators and peer-to-peer homestays, but now a new crop of business ventures has emerged which cater to the non-branded hotels. Platforms like ZoRooms and OYOrooms allows non-branded hotels to come under one brand to manage their occupancy and booking. OYOrooms, a premium budget room’s hotel chain has received more than $127 million in funding. Check out critical website features and further insights necessary for budget hotel booking website here.

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Booking a hotel at a popular tourist destination has become easy due to above mentioned business models but deciding on the destination is a challenge in itself. Travelling to a destination without much knowledge about the place or initial research will surely make you miss many local attractions. To answer such queries, a new breed of online websites has emerged.

Activities: Choosing a tourist destination is one thing, but finding what to do there is something entirely different. Activity-based websites like Peek, Vayable and Zozi target this segment by making it easier for people to locate fun activities and events of their chosen travel destination. They charge a commission on every booking and generate substantial revenue. All of them have received substantial funding to the tune of $6.9 million, $2.1 million and $44 million respectively. Go through vital website features and business model for launching a travel experience website here, here, and here.

Crowdsourced Reviews: People love to read reviews before finalizing a travel destination, and some ventures dedicatedly cater to this need. These platforms are based on a business model where consumers and travellers share their travel experiences on hotels, restaurants site attractions and even interact on travel forums. The popularity of websites like TripAdvisor is evident from the fact that it generated massive revenue of more than a billion dollar last year.

Food Delivery

It is the age of on-demand economy, where consumers want the convenience of getting things done at a tap of a button. This brought the new age startups into existence, which catered to home delivery ranging from fast food to groceries. Some analysts are of the view that this sector would become one of the more lucrative business models in the coming years.

Groceries: Finding time to buy groceries has become difficult with busier lifestyles. Therefore, a platform which makes it easy for consumers to get the groceries delivered to their doorstep, is a boon. This is why marketplaces like Instacart, Localbanya, and have become such a huge hit among the masses. Read more about this business model and key features necessary to launch an online grocery delivery platform here and here.

Food ordering & delivery: In this age of consumer first, no restaurant and or fast food chain can manage without offers free home delivery. However, most do not have an online platform or the resources to streamline the delivery process. This brings in the latest business model, which revolves around online food ordering & delivery. The best example of such a business model is FoodPanda that has received more than $218 million in funding. Further detailed analysis of such business model is here.


When we are talking about emerging business models, one area, which has recently seen impressive movement, is the education sector. In the recent years, there have been several startups, which have mushroomed in this sector with different business model. From online courses to tutoring, this sector is set to see vertical growth.

Online Courses: Technology has made information sharing easy and powered education focused ventures. A platform like comes to the forefront in this category. It allows students to get quality education through technology by enabling universities across the globe to make their courses available online. This not only removes the location barrier but also enhances collaboration. Learn how to build an advanced education portal here.

Tutoring: Although edX like site provides a platform for students to enroll into professional courses, the need of professional tutors is still there. Many a times, students find it hard to learn from academic courses and require specific skills to thrive professionally. This is where a platform like SkillShare comes in. This platform is based on peer-to-peer business model where students connect with professionals and get insider knowledge. Having received more than $10.8 million in funding, SkillShare has become one of the pioneers in connecting students with professional tutors. For further detailed analysis of an online learning platform, read this post.


It has been said a number of times that one of the biggest beneficiaries of technology has been healthcare sector. Due to the growth potential in this industry, many innovative business models have emerged creating a niche for themselves. From doctor search to online pharmacies, the healthcare sector has seen double-digit growth year after year.

Doctor search and appointments: One of the most prominent business models in healthcare sector revolves around bridging the gap between the patients and doctors. Websites like Practo help you find nearby doctors in time of emergency. In addition to providing listing of doctors, patients can also book an appointment via the platform, streamlining the process further. Practo has received $124 million in funding. Read this post to find out more about online doctor appointment and scheduling website.

Caregiver: Another popular peer-to-peer business model in healthcare sector revolves around connecting users with caregivers for senior citizens. It is already a billion dollar industry, but a platform which makes it easy to find and hire caregivers surely takes the cake. HomeHero is based on the same model and has received funding of $23 million. More on this business model and core website features caregiver platform have been discussed in detail here.

Other peer-to-peer business models

In addition to above sector-specific business models, there are numerous service-based business models which have huge growth potential. Let us take a closer look at them to understand their market dynamics.

Renting: Nowadays, consumers have started to take cognizance of the shared economy. Rather than owning items, it is highly economical to rent from others. This brings in an era of peer-to-peer marketplaces, which allows users to rent or lend items including cars, boats, pets, bikes, and even dresses. These renting websites are in huge demand and. For renting bikes, we have Spinlister; for surfboards, we have Quiver and for renting day-to-day items, you have RentTycoons. For a detailed feature analysis of online bike, surfboard and day-to-day items renting websites visit here, here, and here respectively.

Delivery & logistics: When you are moving home or want to transport something as simple as a table or a car, one of the issues faced is finding a transport provider. This is a huge market, and the marketplace like Uship and AnyVan where people can list items to be delivery, and get bids from different transport providers have become a hit among the masses. Uship has already managed to garner funding of $44.7 million.

Of course, there are many other business models that have generated big profits for entrepreneurs. Whatever business you choose, don’t forget to undertake in-depth research, development cost, market competition, and other technical factors into account.

To make things easier for you, FATbit has already handled the challenging part by providing detailed business and feature analysis of most of the business models. In the end, remember to take due diligence of what is important to you before embarking on a business model.

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