Collaborative Economy Market Update, Feb 16th, 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.

Thought Leader Larry Summers on the Sharing Economy: The former president of Harvard University and and co-chair of the American Center for Progress recently shared his perspectives on the Sharing Economy with the Harvard Business Review (HBR). “I’m a believer in the sharing economy. I feel proud to serve on the board of Lending Club. I certainly see enormous efficiencies coming and improvements in economic performance coming from efforts to deploy the economies of housing resources more efficiently through firms like Airbnb or transportation resources more efficiently through firms like Uber and Lift. I believe that much of the way capitalism moves forward is through organizational innovation as well as through technological innovation and the so-called sharing economy represents an important example of that.” Read the entire interview about “What Business Can Do to Save the Middle Class” in the HBR.

Uber Follows Lyft to Partner with Intuit: In our previous newsletter we shared how Lyft drivers would now be better able to track expenses, calculate taxes and handle their bookwork because of a new collaboration between Stripe and Catalyst Companies council member, Intuit. It was only a short while later that it was announced that Uber, which does not use Stripe as a payment service, has partnered with Intuit to allow its drivers to have the same transparency for their financial accounting matters, proving once again that, when collaboration works, it expands. For more on this story see the article in TechCrunch.

Sidecar Broadens Its Services: On February 9th, Sidecare announced a new, same-day delivery service in San Francisco in conjunction with its carpooling model. What separates this from “the ride-sharing crowd” is that these services, although offered separately, may be blended in a “going my way” concept of efficiency of operations. In other words, if you summon a Sidecar ride, you may not only be riding with other passengers, but quite possibly with packages conveniently stowed in the trunk to be delivered once you have been dropped at your destination. It’s an entirely new concept in the Collaborative Economy and there is no reason why it should not prove to be successful. For more information see the story at GigaOM.

TechShop Expands in Reach and Scope: TechShop is bringing the Maker Movement via TechShop Inside mobile units to neighborhoods in the Bay area, while launching a maker platform at a 1,000 square meter site in Abu Dhabi. The maker shop in a trailer is a prototype that TechCrunch hopes will expand throughout the entire Bay Area and beyond. The INNOVATOR platform, co-sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Technology Committee, will be the first open-source maker platform in the UAE. TechCrunch is clearly recognizing and meeting demand on a broad, visionary scale. For more information, see the stories at TechRadar and Reuter’s Zawya.

Pley Gets $10 Million in New Funding: The new funding will be used to expand the Pley subscription service and to introduce PleyWorld so that people around the globe can submit original designs online, subject to a peer review process. Pley will use its patented assembly machine to build and sell custom kits that turn the most popular designs into a marketable toy. Pley CEO, Ranan Lachman observed that, “For years, a small group of LEGO designers in Denmark have controlled the types of sets available to consumers. With the launch of PleyWorld, we are democratizing creativity and empowering builders across the world to use their imagination toward becoming master builders. This is a true testament to how technology and awesome design can change an industry.” Read the full story in PE HUB.

Image by Stuart Richards used under Creative Commons license.

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