5 Online Businesses That Didn’t Exist Five Years Ago

It is difficult to imagine a day, let alone a life, without Google, Facebook, Twitter. And yet these companies have been in existence for less than 20 years.

The speed at which innovation is taking place is accelerating so we do not even have to wait 10 years for the next big thing. Here are five online businesses that have helped our life over the last five years.

Virtual Assistants

Example: YesBossNow, HaloDiana

This startup launched by Irzan Raditya provides anyone with a virtual assistant. Yup, you do not have to be a manager to have a personal assistant. With SMS, YesBossNow can help you find plane ticket, restaurant, orders, and reservation. Requests for YesBossNow are so varied.

Irzan understands that people are busy. As a graduate from Germany, he is used to a lifestyle where everything is on time. YesBossNow is here with a mission to remind you that money is not the only thing that is valuable; time is too.

“We believe that your time matters,” says Irzan. “With the help of a virtual assistant, people can spend their time for something else, such as spending time with family.”

Personal Grocery Shopper


Sometimes you are too tired to buy your groceries after work or you do not like to go out on weekends because supermarkets are too crowded.

HappyFresh cooperates with Farmers Market and Ranch market as the suppliers. You only have to order the groceries with few clicks. In one hour, HappyFresh will arrive at your doorstep with your groceries. It is like having a personal shopper for your groceries.

What’s interesting is that if you want the groceries to be delivered but no one is at home; you can leave a note on the door. HappyFresh will pack itso your groceries are still fresh when you get home. You can track the status of your order.

Holiday Apartment or Private Home Rentals

Example: Wimdu

You can stay at a hotel or a resort, but why not stay at someone else's home? In addition to being more cost effective, it gives you an idea of how locals in a particular place live.

This is what Arne Bleckwenn and Hinrich Dreiling’s, themselves avid travelers, thought when they launched Wimdu in 2011, a website that lists owners of private accommodations that can be rented for a very affordable price.

Wimdu launched in Germany, and is currently present in 150 countries with more than 300,000 listings for rent.

Peer to Peer Courier Service

Example: BisTip

Need to buy something from another country? This site can hook you up with a traveler who is going there anyway.

BisTip is short for “Bisa Titip” (Can Ask For Something). This site has information on of the travelers’ schedule and their destinations. After finding the right traveler, you can contact him or her to negotiate.

You can then transfer some money via the BisTip SafePay system so BisTip.com and the traveler can know for sure that the customer has the money to pay for the product. After the product is handed to the customer, the traveler can claim the money.

Interesting and helpful, isn’t it?

Private Driver on Demand

Example: Uber, GrabCar

Need to go somewhere but can’t find a taxi? Or, you have a car that is not fully utilized and want to earn extra money?

Transportation platforms like Uber and GrabTaxi connects these two parties,namely the drivers of private cars and passengers.

Uber helps passengers as it reduces the waiting time for getting a ride. With the application, passengers can track a driver or car's position real-time. “Uber gives certainty to the user. Users can track the name and phone number of the driver along with the car type and license number,” says Anggun Pradistha, Community Manager at Uber Indonesia.

Similar services are also offered by taxi-ordering app, GrabTaxi, under the name GrabCar. This Malaysian company works with several car rental companies to deliver the service.

Read also: Cost of Setting Up an Online Business

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