Collaborative Economy Industry News, Jan 10, 2015


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.

2015 is the Year of the Crowd
By now we should all be refreshed and back to work for 2015. I’d like to repost our illustrated deck from LeWeb that explains how 2015 is the Year of the Crowd. It shows how crowd-based business models have spread to many new verticals like healthcare, logistics, enterprise/corporate, utilities, cities and education. It also shows how funding and disruptions to traditional business are on the rise and how large corporations are adopting by leaning into this movement. Give it a quick read. Let me know if you have any questions and, please, consider sharing. Find out why more than 300,000 people have viewed these slides.

WeWork Raises $355 Million in Funding.
Check out this infographic from the Wall Street Journal showing valuations of the Billion Dollar Club of sharing startups, most of which did not exist 10 years ago. The group has become much less exclusive over the past decade as the growth of the Collaborative Economy has gained traction and proven its worth to savvy investors as well as to the crowd. Read more.

Investor Enthusiasm Still Growing for Collaborative Startups
There are definitive, objective ways to measure a company’s – or even a marketplace’s – value. Nonetheless, perhaps the quickest way to obtain an indication of an entire market’s value is by observing how investors are responding. This is especially true in emerging spaces like the Collaborative Economy. While many traditional, corporate entities are still deciding whether to “beat ’em or join ’em,” investors are continuing to channel enormous amounts of funding into new startups that are built on a sharing model. For example, it was announced on 30 December 2014 that Instacart had raised in excess of $210 million in its latest round of funding, increasing the company’s valuation to $2.0 billion. Read more.

Cohealo Models the Sharing Economy for Hospitals
Boston-based Cohealo is using the sharing economy model to help hospitals significantly reduce one of the major costs that hospitals have had to historically bear – equipment. Diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical equipment is expensive. Until Cohealo, hospitals have had only two choices for acquiring equipment. If they bought it, they became encumbered with a huge capital expense for the piece, which would soon be rendered obsolete by the acceleration of technology and the introduction of new models. If they leased, they incurred additional charges based on usage, and still had the pressure from the supplier to step up to the latest model. Read more to see how Cohealo is using the sharing concept to save hospitals millions of dollars.

Insurance Companies Taking Notice of the Collaborative Economy
With the Collaborative Economy now generating billions of dollars of revenue per year, it seems like you can get just about anything you want from someone somewhere. With one huge exception. The startups themselves have found it difficult to find insurance plans that adequately protect them from liabilities arising out of their goods and services. The Insurance Network News recently published “A Wake-Up Call” to providers to consider the new opportunities that the sharing economy presents for them. Startups are begging for appropriate coverages. Insurance companies are beginning to take note. Read more.

Carnegie Mellon Leading White House Initiative on Maker Movement
Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University has led the support for the White House Maker Movement initiative since it was first announced. Using funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), CMU has developed, a website that promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students at colleges and universities as “a one-stop resource for sharing best practices in maker education.” The university’s vice president of research cited collaboration as being at the core of the Maker Movement. Read more.

The Collaborative Economy Is Global
We tend to think of the collaborative economy as some kind of a local phenomenon, but it is far from that. With just a little bit of Googling it becomes evident that the concept has become a global movement. The Kyiv (Kiev) Post recently highlighted the prominence that sharing has gained in the Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Belarus and India. Nicholas Brusson, COO of Blablacar, noted that, “Markets in Ukraine and Russia are huge. We’re growing like crazy.” Blablacar has gained one million registered users in Russia and the Ukraine in its first year of service in that market. Read more.

Zoola Fix Offers the Best of Nightlife to the Collaborative Economy
Zoola Fix opened for business in December 2014 in London and New York, with plans to expand to other major cities where the nightlife can be spectacular – if you know the right people. Zoola fixes that problem by connecting travelers who are hoping to get a taste of the real deal at their destination. Fixers are part of the “in crowd” who can get visitors into the local hot-spots at which they would otherwise be turned away. Founder, Richard Walker-Smith says that his service is a perfect fit for those who use Airbnb to book their accommodations and Uber to get from place to place, a collaboration of collaborators. Read more.

Collaborator, Incubator & Investor
500 Startups is not a number. It is a company – a company dedicated to collaborating with and investing in startups in the collaborative economy. Based in San Francisco, 500 Startups provides funding (from $25K to $250K), consulting, collaboration and training in making a startup successful. The company has invested in more than 800 startups in more than 40 different countries. As the Collaborative Economy continues to grow, more and more ways to collaborate become evident to people with a vision for sharing. Read more.


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