Collaborative Economy Market Update, August 4, 2015

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Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Catalyst Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Established Companies Are Adopting Collaborative Models: Catalyst Companies was created to help existing companies understand and embrace a collaborative model. Our purpose has been to raise awareness of the growing Collaborative Economy, its benefits as a business model, and its potential for disruption if ignored. In the year-and-a-half since we began operation, we have witnessed cases of corporate adoption increase from 70 to 190. At the same time, a number of collaborative startups have multi-billion valuations whilst simply providing shared services of other entities’ assets. Analysis, insights and charts are available at Web Strategist.com

“Uber Financing” Now Mean that Uber Is Doing the Funding: Uber continues to grow its ride sharing service around the globe. Recently, the technology company announced that it was investing $1 billion into its operations in India to fund its goal of having 1 million customers by March 2016. Closer to home, the company has launched Uber Xchange in California, Georgia and Maryland. Uber Xchange is a car leasing program available only for registered Uber drivers. Lease rates are low and, once a driver has leased and operated a qualified vehicle for 30 days, he may exchange it for another on just two weeks notice. In keeping with Uber’s business model, the leases feature unlimited mileage. More details of the Xchange program are available at Automobile magazine.

Airbnb Business Service Is Growing: It has been a year since Airbnb implemented and expanded its model to be as appealing to business travelers as it has been for leisure guests. In that short time, the program has experienced a 700% growth rate and “Google, Twilio, Salesforce and SoundCloud are among more than 250 companies that have joined the program.” The business platform is now available globally, with a dashboard for corporate travel managers that includes analytics that can be used, not only for a better travel experience, but to better manage travel expenses. Additional information is available at Bizjournals.com.

Uber raises another Billion — valued at $50 Billion:  Uber is now valued at $50 Billion after raising another billion, in part from Microsoft. Uber continues its international expansion and has made moves to grow in India –where a fierce battle between them and Ola car is waging. This latest round will help shore up their partnership with Microsoft, as they recently purchased their mapping software, to replace the mapping software with their former partner, Google. This lifestyle logistics company uses data to help people get what they need, in near-real-time. Read more at Techcrunch

Employee or Not an Employee? That is the question. And, as civil litigation suits against Collaborative Economy companies and freelance workers arise, authorities are going to have to adjudicate cases for which there are no completely appropriate laws on the books. How cases are decided, at least at this point, is going to have not only short-term import for both plaintiff and defendant, but much longer-term effect as case lawmade now may be used to determine future rulings. For more information on this important matter, see the article in the Economist.

Collaborative Economy Puts Americans to Work: The perennial promise of nearly every politician is “more jobs.” It’s an empty promise upon which government cannot deliver except in the expansion of its own workforce. People create jobs. This can be evidenced, at least in part, by what the Collaborative Economy has been able to accomplish as revealed in the latest American Action Forum report released July 28, 2015. That reported indicates that freelance workers accounted for up to 38.2 percent of job growth between 2002 and 2014 and 30% of the new jobs between 2010 and 2014. If that is the case (the numbers were obtained from the U.S. government General Accountability Office), the rise of the Collaborative Economy came during an economic crisis for which the government was able to offer any real solutions for American workers. Check the article in the Libertarian Republic to learn more.

Can On the Move Systems Become the Uber of Trucking? CEO Robert Wilson stated “Our innovative shared economy platform can provide a quick, effective way for truckers, recruiters and driver candidates who want to work to connect online. Trucking companies are facing higher costs because of increased driver turnover. Giving the companies, recruiters and drivers an app to connect them in one place will greatly increase each company’s exposure in the employment marketplace and help them find candidates who will stay long-term, cutting costly turnover.” Wilson believes that a collaborative app can breathe new life into the logistics industry that has sought more after technology to make their customers’ shipping more efficient while not focusing on how to make their own industry more so. Microcap Daily carried an interest article about On the Move Systems.

Health ELT Is a Different Maker: “This is a maker’s movement in Nashville … It’s been fascinating to watch people whose expertise naturally lends itself to innovation come and apply it to a field that has traditionally lacked it.” Amanda Havard was talking about developing mobile apps that have the potential to reduce operational expenses of Medicaid while providing patient access to their claims and cases. Even more, her team is also focused on eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks in a paper system that often irrationally delays or denies much needed care. Health ELT is a collaboration of technology makers that could revolutionize the entire Medicaid system and beyond. Catch her vision and that of her makers in The Tennesseean.

Image from Web-Strategist.com used under Creative Commons license.

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