The ease with which Craigslist can boost its revenues truly boggles the mind. According to several estimates, the privately-held classified provider controlled by founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster already has annual revenues of about $150-million — and that’s from charging $25 for job listings in just a handful of cities, and $75 for a listing in San Francisco, as well as $10 for listings by apartment brokers in New York City.
Now Craigslist is adding fees in four more cities — Chicago, Orange County, Sacramento and Portland. So that’s another $25 per listing in all of those centers. And the classified site, which pushes a mind-blowing eight billion web pages or so every month, is already making $150-million or so from seven cities. Even if you assume that places like Orange County and Portland aren’t going to produce as much income as Boston or Los Angeles, I figure that’s still going to boost revenues by close to 50 per cent.
That would put the company’s sales at more than $200-million — and this from a company that consists of about 20 people working in a renovated house in San Francisco, and a couple of hundred servers somewhere. All you have to do is multiply some of those revenue numbers a bit and you get into some pretty amazing territory, as Startup Boy wrote awhile back. And I would expect that even after adding all those cities, costs at Craigslist have barely gone up.
It’s too bad that Jim and Craig have no interest in making billions of dollars, as they continually tell people — including the audience at mesh 2007, where Jim was one of the keynote speakers. Those guys are enough to make a Wall Street broker cry.