Collaborative Economy Industry News, June 15, 2014


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.

Owyang: Don’t Protest the Collaborative Economy — Lead It
This week, thousands of infuriated taxi drivers across dozens of European cities brought transportation services to a standstill. The taxi protest against the Collaborative Economy backfired – it made Uber more popular than ever! Instead of fighting this movement, Taxi companies and incumbents from every industry should adopt these same strategies and technologies. Read more.

Storefront is the Airbnb for retailers
Wherever there is a room or a building that is a space that is not being used, it is probably costing someone something to maintain it. Like Airbng helps homeowners to share their idle space with people who need a place to stay, but who want something other than the conventional hotel experience, Storefront’s goal is “to make starting an offline store as easy as starting an online store” by using a similar model to help “connect people with something to sell with space to sell it,” without the retailer committing to a long-term lease. Read more.

Lyft Gets a Big Lift in NYC
As the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Ashwini Chhabra, deputy commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, has left his job to take a position at Lyft. Lyft has apparently built a relationship with and flashed enough cash to coax Mr. Chhabra to switch sides. He will become Lyft’s first Director of Policy Development and Community Engagement. One of the least employed, but most effective, strategies that can be implemented in a contentious business situation is to hire a key individual from the other side. If that individual has demonstrated acumen and acuity, why not get them on your side. Look for what used to be brick walls to become red tape that Mr. Chhabra knows how to cut through. Read more.

Even Crowdfunding is Getting Funded
If funding firms need funding, then it follows that crowdfunding sites need funding. It also follows that funding firms can find new investors through crowdfunding. The fact is that the crowdfunding arena is gaining more and more interest from both ends of the pipeline in what may be the best example of a true collaborative economy. Sir Richard Branson and several other prominent investors have given crowdfunding site a funding boost. The amount of investment is undisclosed, but, given the names involved, it hast to be substantial. At the other end of the spectrum, Fundrise, a Washington-based crowdfunding site has raised $31 million to support the expansion of services nationally. Fundrise offers street investors to participate in funding major real estate projects with as little as $100. That’s tapping into the crowd! To read more about the Indiegogo funding, click here. For additional information about Fundrise click here.

Airbnb Offers Food Services
Airbnb, the leader in residential space sharing, is now operating a pilot project in its headquarter city of San Francisco. That project is promoting the concept of Airbnb hosts providing menued meals services. At this point, the hosts are given free reign to create their own menus. Guests are typically offered a three-course meal at $25 per person. With over 10 million rooms and homes booked per night worldwide, expect this $10 billion company to keep finding new ways to offer crowd-friendly services. Read more.

Amex Partners with Uber
Don’t just pay for your Uber ride with American Express. Earn Membership Rewards™ as well when you pay with your Amex card. Simply register your rewards-eligible card with Uber, using the Uber app. You can earn points for you rides and use points to pay for your rides. You even get points when you use your points. Plus, as Amex users know, you can use the points to purchase other merchandise and services in which you eligible cards are enrolled. Read more.

Katie Couric with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky is one of the world’s youngest billionaires today because he turned his vision of the sharing economy into a $10 billion based entirely on the sharing concept. Katie Couric recently interviewed Brian about his real-life rags to riches – or in his case, cereal to sharing – story and his infamous plan for Airbnb to take over the travel industry. Although he declined to share the details of his plan, he did explain his dream of providing a complete travel experience from the moment a traveller walks out his front door until they return, including pet-sitting services whilst the traveller is enjoying the Airbnb experience. Read more.


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