How this Iranian-American computer engineer with French roots was able to grow his business from nothing to $36.6 billion

  1. September 1995 Pierre Omidyar, an Iranian-American computer programmer of French descent, founded a website that held online auctions for used, damaged, and pre-owned items. It was his pastime.


His website soon saw a spike in traffic, necessitating a $250 hosting fee.

He asked the users to pay a little listing fee (10 back then, $25 currently) and a percentage of the sale price rather than paying out of his own money.

These modest payments increased over time, becoming $1,000 the first month, $2,500 the next, then $5,000, $10,000, etc.


February 1997 2,000,000 auctions were held on the website (8 times more than in 1996).


1997 September The domain name, which Omidyar had attempted to register, was already taken, so he shortened it to his second option, is now the name of the corporation.


  1. In search of funding:

Bessemer Venture Partners rejected eBay, saying, “Stamps? Coins? graphic novels? You’ve GOT to be joking, pass the brainer.

Benchmark Capital provided $6.7 million in capital to eBay.


March 1998. a new CEO and president were hired. 500K users, 30 staff, and $4.7M in sales were the company’s stats.


21 September 1998 Incorporation of eBay. Overnight, the founder became a billionaire.

A year ago, Benchmark Capital made an investment in eBay, which resulted in a return of 50,000%.


Since 1998, eBay has acquired 53 businesses (auction websites, marketplaces, ecommerce systems, etc.).


2000s. Beyond collectibles, eBay broadened the range of available goods to nearly everything that might be sold.


November 2002 The business acquired PayPal.


  1. Skype was purchased by eBay for $2.5 billion; it was later sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.


  1. Priced at $36.6 billion, eBay.


Source :The Wikipedia website

Scroll to Top