Who owns eBay? What is the eBay Brand Worth? eBay is a publicly traded company, which means its shareholders own it. The largest shareholders of eBay Inc. by May 2023 were institutional investors like State Street Corporation, The Vanguard Group, and BlackRock. eBay’s co-founder, Pierre Omidyar, still holds a massive chunk of the company. But he no longer has an active role in its management.
Who owns eBay?
eBay Inc. (EBAY) is an auction-style e-commerce platform that focuses both on consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales. It makes money by charging fees to sellers. Let’s look at who owns eBay and who controls it.
eBay’s largest shareholders are large asset managers. Vanguard owns 11.3% of the company, and BlackRock owns an 8.5% share. A sizable stake also belongs to eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar, who owns around 4.3% of eBay.
In this article, I will dive more into who owns eBay and who controls it. I will show you who eBay’s largest shareholders are, how many shares and votes they have, and how much their stake is worth.
If you are interested, you can also explore my other articles about who owns companies like Microsoft, Alphabet(Google), Lenovo, IBM, Tencent, and others.
What is eBay’s Original Story?
eBay’s story started in 1995 when Pierre Omidyar, the founder, established AuctionWeb, an online auction platform. Pierre, a computer programmer, was passionate and committed to building an online marketplace that would allow people to purchase and sell products to one another directly. The most attractive thing about his idea was that it wouldn’t require intermediaries, as is the case with auction houses and traditional retailers.
When Pierre launched AuctionWeb, it was a small website he operated from his computer. But it evolved fast and attracted more users who started purchasing and selling goods. Pierre adopted the name eBay in 1996 because it was more marketable and memorable.
As eBay continued to grow, Omidyar knew that he needed to hire more staff to cope with the site’s rising demands. He brought on Meg Whitman as CEO in 1998. And eBay went public under her leadership the following year. This feat made it one of the most successful initial public offerings (IPOs) in history at the time.
eBay’s growth hasn’t slowed since then. In fact, it has surpassed its initial plan on online auctions, which has steered it into becoming a fully-developed eCommerce platform. You can buy and sell different types of products ranging from electronics, cars, fashion, and even real estate.
How did Pierre Omidyar Establish eBay?
Pierre Omidyar established eBay in 1995 by building a website. He named it AuctionWeb. During this phase, he relied on his impeccable computer programming skills. Peter had a background in computer science, had previously worked for Apple, and developed software for the Macintosh.
Peter started the site as a personal project and put a broken laser pointer up for auction as a test. You may not believe this, but the laser pointer sold for $14.83 to a collector of broken laser pointers! And this first sale laid the foundation to form eBay.
The company started expanding beyond its initial focus on auctions to include fixed-price listings and other e-commerce features. eBay went public in 1998, and its success transformed Peter into a billionaire and a distinguished figure in the tech industry.
How does eBay work
As the site grew in popularity, Omidyar began to realize that he had created something unique. As a result, he took up its active development. Then three basic principles of eBay were formulated:
- Anyone can contribute.
- All participants must be friendly to each other.
- Communicate with each other with respect.
A few years later, the brainchild of Pierre took a leading position among similar auctions in America. The project developed rapidly and significant expenses began to be required to work on it. The developer decided to take a commission of 6% for each transaction, which covered part of the costs. At the same time, Omidyar realized that he could not cope with management and for the future development of the project, an intelligent manager who was well versed in business processes was needed.
Starting the search for such a specialist, Omidyar even negotiated with Steve Jobs, who was just not busy and was considering suitable options for cooperation. The offer was almost accepted, but at the last moment, Jobs decided to return to his own brainchild – Apple. Later, a suitable manager was found. They became Margaret Whitman – at that time the manager of a company that was engaged in the production of children’s toys.
Continuing the fight against competitors, eBay introduced the function of paying for purchases with credit cards, which were gaining wide popularity at the time. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion.
None of the auctions in the world can compete with eBay. The only market that this auction did not receive was Japan, where Yahoo! is the leader.
What is the eBay Brand Worth?
According to the annual ranking of the world’s most valuable brands by Brand Finance, eBay’s brand value was $11.2 billion in 2021. With this ranking, the company became the 76th most valuable brand globally.
It’s important to understand that a brand’s value often fluctuates over time based on various factors, such as increased competition, changes in consumer buying habits, and market conditions. Further, different organizations may have varying methods of valuing a brand, which means their estimates of a brand’s worth are likely to vary.
What Else Is There to Know About eBay?
Here are some quick facts and information about eBay:
- eBay is a global e-commerce platform. It links connects buyers and sellers from different parts of the world. Also, it allows users to buy and sell a wide range of items, as mentioned above. These items include electronics, fashion, collectibles, and more;
- eBay has over 190 million active buyers and 20 million active sellers globally. These numbers make it one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world;
- eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar as an online marketplace for auctions. It has since evolved into a full-fledged e-commerce platform that allows users to buy and sell goods using fixed-price listings, as well as auctions;
- eBay operates in over 190 markets worldwide, and it has localized websites in more than 20 countries. The company also offers international shipping services, and these allow buyers and sellers to transact across borders;
- eBay generates revenue primarily through transaction fees charged to sellers. But it also generates revenue through advertising on its platform. The company’s revenue in 2020 was $10.3 billion;
- eBay owns several other e-commerce businesses. For example, StubHub is a platform for buying and selling event tickets, while Classifieds Group is a network of online classifieds sites;
- eBay has faced criticism and legal challenges over the years due to various issues, such as counterfeit goods and fraudulent transactions. The company has taken steps to address these issues. Some of these are; implementing measures to prevent fraud and collaborating with law enforcement agencies to fight counterfeit goods.
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