Hallmark, Amazon, and the Global Ridesharing Market: This Week’s Collaborative Economy Big 3

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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.

Hallmark Partners with Makers on “Crafters & Co” Gifts Line
In partnership with carefully selected creators, Hallmark is launching a new line of gifts that emphasize the “how” behind the products and their journey from maker hands to the consumer. The products, ranging from luxury body care toiletries to sweet treats and dip mixes, are created by family owned-and-operated businesses in small batches nationwide and available exclusively at Hallmark Gold Crown Stores and online. Crafters & Co was developed in response to Hallmark’s recognition of growing consumer preference for meaningful gifts, made by human hands. By working with the Maker Movement, rather than against it, Hallmark delivers on the authenticity that its customers crave with hopes of seeing a bottom-line impact. Hallmark.com has more.

Amazon Announces One-Hour Restaurant Delivery Through “Prime Now”
Initially available in Seattle only, Amazon will be making restaurant deliveries in an hour or less to Prime Now customers – free of additional charges or delivery fees. The service, an eerily similar offering to to UberEATS, allows Amazon Prime members in select Seattle zip codes to view menus from participating restaurants, place orders in the app, and track their delivery in real-time as it’s prepped and out for delivery. As the food delivery market is increasingly saturating, Amazon hopes to differentiate its Prime Now delivery via lack of fees and zero markup on menu items. As the well-oiled logistics machine amps up its on-demand delivery options, less-resourced startups in the space could have trouble keeping up. Read details from TechCrunch.

Ridesharing Services Expand Globally with BlaBlaCar and Uber Investments
Ridesharing is no longer a behavior unique to U.S. consumers, and international brands are reaping the rewards. Two news stories this month, one from BlaBlaCar and one from Uber, showcase the growth of ridesharing in the EMEA and China within the coming year. French car-sharing startup BlaBlaCar is currently raising $160 million with Insight Venture Partners, totaling a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion, while Uber is set to enter 100 more Chinese cities over the next year. The growth of ridesharing internationally signals the continued maturation of the Collaborative Economy’s transportation sector amidst regulatory concerns and is an indication that other global industries could soon find themselves similarly disrupted. Find out more about BlaBlaCar’s fundraising from TechCrunch and Uber’s international growth.

Transparency: Hallmark is a customer of Catalyst Companies

Image from Hallmark Corporate

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