Airbnb, Odesk/E-lance, HomeAway, and of course Alibaba all process over a billion dollars in transactions and they own no capital, stock or inventory.
The magic in these fast growing tech unicorns is not always the technology but the single unrelenting focus on solving a big problem for consumers, businesses and service providers. The User Experience (UX), scale and simplicity of design make these vertical digital marketplaces almost impossible to catch either locally or internationally. It is not only smart mechanisms that help achieve this, such as reviews and 5 stars, or slick mobile apps and credit card ubiquity. The importance of the On-demand economy coupled with relatively lower price tags and doubled sided business model cannot be under emphasised
Be A Platform
The Worlds Most Valuable Retailer Owns No Stock – Alibaba.com
The Worlds Most Popular Media Owner Creates No Content – Facebook.com
The Worlds Largest Taxi Company Owns No Vehicles – Uber
The Worlds Largest Accommodation Provider Owns No Real Estate – AirBnb.com
The Worlds Largest Programmers Provider Does Not Sell Hours – Odesk/Elance
Not just international
South Africa’s Largest Property Sellers Have No Brokers – PrivateProperty/Property24
South Africa’s Largest Ecommerce Site Sells No Product – BidOrBuy
Think Global Act Local
There’s an enormous opportunity in South Africa for marketplaces to emerge that replicate international models but are tailored to the local economy and are able handle high-value, complex transactions. However, to find success, they’ll need to make SA consumers feel comfortable reducing the high-price purchase and/or complex deliverable to just a few clicks on a website or mobile app.
We at SovTech are keen followers of international ecommerce market place trends and their ability to disrupt entire industries over night. Bear in mind that Uber only launched in South Africa 23 months ago and along with most other global cities has become synonymous with taxi use across the millennial generation. Both our innovative developer teams and insightful business teams are continuously suggesting new ways to utilise the digital marketplace model to our clients and internal SovTech Ventures projects.