Online marketplaces – entering the next phase

We’re excited to release “Online marketplaces entering the next phase”, a research report created in partnership with global online classifieds company Adevinta, and investors Speedinvest x and Point Nine.

The report assesses the development of digital marketplace dominance over the last two decades, how the Covid-19 crisis is changing behaviour and business, the drivers of development, and the significant sectors still ripe for marketplace disruption.

Report - Online marketplaces – entering the next phase

Digital adoption is accelerating.

Covid-19 has created short-term winners and losers. But the more structural impact is that trends already under way have been accelerated. Everything was already moving online. Now this is happening even faster. Online marketplaces now have a combined value of $814 billion globally. 58% of consumer marketplaces could be well-positioned to navigate the crisis, while another 23% might experience a sharp “V-shaped” recovery.

But the biggest wave for digital marketplaces is still ahead of us, with the biggest consumer categories still largely undigitized.

Marketplaces as critical infrastructure.

The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated how critical online consumer services and technology are for many aspects of society and the economy. We’re entering a new phase in the ongoing evolution of online marketplace models. The report explores how startups are colliding with the offline world, its regulations and laws of physics, which sometimes impact unit economics. The crisis may also impact funding sources for startups, leading to an increased focus on profitability.

“The coronavirus has put entire industries on hold, while in others it brought decades of progress in a few months. However, the crisis has also amplified the role of online marketplaces: by delivering trust and transparency to end users, they have the power to unlock supply, especially in sectors which until now were heavily regulated or lowly digitised. Healthcare and education are now experiencing huge digital demand which in some cases they are struggling to keep up with.”

Ovidiu SolomonovSVP for global markets at Adevinta

The biggest opportunities lie ahead.

Nearly 90% of consumer spending goes to housing, healthcare, food, mobility and education. Most of these markets still operate largely offline, but rapid digital adoption is being driven by Covid-19. The future of marketplaces will be in addressing some of society’s most pressing issues.

“Since only a fraction of consumption is currently digitised, there is still huge growth potential in marketplaces as more consumers in markets around the world adapt rapidly to buying goods and services through online platforms. This had already caused huge disruption to the retail industry but following the pandemic will affect other sectors increasingly.”

Mathias OckenfelsGeneral Partner, Speedinvest x

Many European cities have unveiled big plans to reduce congestion and expand socially-distanced mobility options. Housing is the biggest consumer expense globally, and marketplaces could address shortages, access to home ownership and sustainability. Heavily-regulated consumer healthcare has been opening up, embracing telemedicine, AI and predictive diagnostics, with 10 years’ worth of change happening in a matter of weeks. The way we work is changing. Big corporates are embracing remote work, while freelance, gig & passion workers are using match-making and distribution platforms to generate income. And in education, the lines are now blurring between physical and digital classrooms.

“Covid has helped break barriers to technology adoption in a number of areas. In healthcare, education and industry specific B2B platforms, regulation or established business practices have previously hindered the transition to online marketplaces. The last three months have demonstrated that technology adoption, out of necessity, can create new opportunities much more quickly than previously envisaged.”

Pawel ChudzinskiCo-founder and managing partner of Point Nine capital

Discover the data behind the biggest marketplace opportunities, and the startups addressing them.

Report - Online marketplaces – entering the next phase