Venture capital investments in social media

Katrin Yr Magnusdottir & Olafur Pall Johnson

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze business model innovation in the social media industry. This industry of extraordinary growth and continuous technological development is driven by high level of investment from venture capitalists in their quest to find the next Facebook or the next Instagram. By conducting case studies on seven successful venture capital founded social media companies we want to map key similarities and differences in their business models. By creating a theoretical framework; the 7 Factor Model and combining it to the Business Model Canvas we identify scalability, uniqueness, loyalty, profitability, sustainability, mobility and inimitability as key value drivers. Based on our findings from the case studies we conclude that the design of business model influences the success of a social media start-up company and state that business model innovation is an important issue for these companies to react and gain competitive advantage in a world of constantly changing condition.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages109