I get how it makes money.

I'm curious about the financial data, how much profit, etc. it makes.

I've tried searching on the SEC to no avail.

  • 2
    Looking for investment opportunities? – Cody Gray Jul 25 '13 at 7:47
  • 1
    I'm not sure you're going to get an answer on this one. Methodology they are open about, but the actual earnings report is probably internal, and will probably stay that way. Still, I'm curious... – user206222 Jul 25 '13 at 7:48
  • add one more how much it cost to buy one share? in the question :) – Azik Jul 25 '13 at 7:49
  • 21
    How much reputation does it cost to buy one share of StackExchange? – Mysticial Jul 25 '13 at 7:49
  • 3
    I would say "enough to keep the sites live and running, work on improvements and keep everyone happy". :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jul 25 '13 at 7:50
  • 19
    @Mysticial, rep for share? then skeet owns SE. – Azik Jul 25 '13 at 7:50
  • @Mysticial: That would be most awesome thing ever...wait, does Meta rep count?! – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 25 '13 at 7:50
  • 19
    Suddenly the rep cap makes sense... – user176088 Jul 25 '13 at 7:53
  • 1
    @M.NightDemonbobby I'd say that it would have to be only Meta rep that counted – Cody Gray Jul 25 '13 at 7:59
  • 1
    As for "I would say "enough to keep the sites live and running" -- the sole fact that the business is alive, doesn't imply any profit is made. They could be burning that Venture Capital money quick. But I guess you know, @Sha. – Arjan Jul 25 '13 at 8:00
  • @Arjan my guess is as good as your guess, it just looks like they keep hiring and the devs appear to be well fed and happy. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jul 25 '13 at 8:16
  • Sure, @Sha, We just received $6M in VC money and need you to help us spend it. ;-) (On a serious note: the startup I worked for, just sacked a lot of people as only recently it became clear how much money was really spent already. Weird.) – Arjan Jul 25 '13 at 8:35
  • How is "How much money does Stack Exchange make?" "[not] seeking input and discussion"? I understand if the answer to this is "how much SE make is none of your business" but I don't really agree with this close reason. – Old Checkmark Jul 25 '13 at 10:03
  • 7
    Voting to reopen, this is totally legit question though small chance for real answer. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jul 25 '13 at 12:29
  • To the person who voted as "primarily opinion based", isn't there a single factual answer to this? – scrblnrd3 Jan 29 '14 at 4:12

It is a private company, owned by principal employees and venture capital investors. Since their stock isn't publicly traded, they have no obligation to publish profit and loss statements. And they don't. It is a secret, known to insiders only.

  • "And don't" what? – Cole Johnson Jul 25 '13 at 8:58
  • 3
    They have no obligation to publish. And don't publish. – Uphill Luge Jul 25 '13 at 9:03
  • 3
    Are you saying that if it was leaked, we shouldn't put it on WikiLeaks? Because I thought we were supposed to leak stuff. I mean, that's how we found out the NSA is spying on us. :( – Cole Johnson Jul 25 '13 at 9:07
  • 3
    Oh yes @ColeJohnson. If you get it, put it on WikiLeaks immediately. Because that would like, blow the lid right off this....well...I mean it will reveal that..... On second thought. Keep it to yourself. ;) – Bart Jul 25 '13 at 9:13
  • 67
    I would answer, but I don't want to live in a Moscow airport. – balpha Jul 25 '13 at 19:09


Enough to keep the lights on, the servers serving, the programmers programming, marketers marketing, sysadmins adminingsyses and folks like me doing whatever it is that we do. With enough extra to keep everyone supplied with beer.

Want more specific details? Want some of the actual cash? Well, there is one way you can get that...


Here is one source of their [estimated] gross daily income, accounting for ads only (but it is probably their major source anyway) - websiteoutlook.com/www.stackoverflow.com

making USD 58931.02 daily

That's 21.5M a year.

Note: This number is probably lower than their actual yearly revenue, but it's a good number to start with.

  • 4
    That's [an estimate of] gross income, not profit. It may well be an underestimate of their gross income, but their profit is going to be dramatically lower than their gross income. Payroll alone is going to take out a pretty huge amount there; SE has quite a lot of full time employees in fairly "expensive" disciplines. – Servy Dec 30 '13 at 18:06
  • @Servy: Thanks, I just made a correction to my answer. I did not find any information on the internet regarding payroll (or in fact any expenses, due to reasons Hans explained), so just sharing what I found. – Neolisk Dec 30 '13 at 18:17
  • 2
    Does this take into account that users with enough reputation don't see ads? – Flimm Dec 30 '13 at 20:24
  • 1
    Don't forget their expenses on the secret basement downstairs! It must be expensive, especially when used to hold misbehaving devs... :-) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Dec 30 '13 at 21:26
  • 1
    @Flimm: You can ask the creators of websiteoutlook, I am not one of them, unfortunately. My guess is that site value is based on the number of page views (either hits or uniques - not sure). It does not matter if ads are present on the pages or not. For example, my website is making 0.78$ daily, although I can assure you I am not making anything on it, and there are exactly 0 ads at all times. – Neolisk Dec 30 '13 at 21:27
  • @Flimm Where does it say that accounts above certain rep don't see ads. It's also an admission that they know that ads are annoying. – Tony_Henrich Jun 20 '15 at 5:54
  • 1
    @Tony_Henrich: One of the privileges you gain at 200 reputation is "reduced ads". stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/reduced-ads – Neolisk Jun 20 '15 at 12:04

You must log in to answer this question.