Led by Uber and Airbnb, the sharing economy is changing the way people buy goods and services. But which countries and cities are driving the phenomenon?
The UK is the European capital of the sharing economy, accounting for one-in-10 of the world’s companies in this new digital sector, more than Europe’s next three most prolific hubs – France, Spain and Germany – combined.
However, the US is the reigning champion, producing more than half of the 865 start-ups in the sharing economy, the term for technology companies that allow people to capitalise on their unused assets such as property, skills or time.
“The sharing economy has the potential to change everything about how we access goods and services”
Alex Stephany, JustPark CEO
Research from JustPark, the online service that connects people with unoccupied driveways with drivers looking for a parking space, found that London is home to 72 sharing economy start-ups, making it the third biggest creator city behind New York (89) and San Francisco (131).
Reflecting the UK’s world-renowned financial technology, or fintech, community, 10 of the UK’s sharing economy companies are peer-to-peer lending or financing start-ups, including Crowdcube, Seeders and Funding Circle.
Crowdcube recently became the first equity-based crowdfunding platform to surpass £100m in raised capital.
The UK is also home to four start-ups that allow users to rent out their spare rooms and three companies that enable users to outsource their chores.
The global sharing economy is worth $15bn per year, according to PwC, and is projected to soar to $335bn in 10 years. The UK sector is set to grow from £500m to £9bn over the next decade.
In this year’s Budget, George Osborne unveiled “steps to put Britain at the forefront of the online sharing economy ” and encouraged government employees to use these services to cut transport and accommodation costs.
A new trade body, Sharing Economy UK (SEUK), was also set up to champion the sector and boost its contribution to the British economy.
“The sharing economy has the potential to change everything about how we access goods and services,” said JustPark chief executive Alex Stephany, who wrote the book The Business of Sharing.
“We have the opportunity to position the UK as a global leader in this space . Digital is helping to move forward the economy as a whole and we should do all we can to drive innovation and job creation in the sharing economy.”
Bolstered by the success of cab-hailing app Uber and home rentals site Airbnb – the two most valuable start-ups in the world – the most popular categories globally for sharing economy start-ups are transport, with 127 companies, and travel, with 111.
When broken down into smaller subsections, the most crowded sectors of the sharing economy allow people to help others with their chores, such as TaskRabbit (37), lend each other money, like Zopa (37), rent out their unused car, such as Zipcar (34), finance someone else’s business, such as Crowdcube (33) and rent out their spare room, à la Airbnb (31).
“In time, the sharing economy will grow to be pervasive in an even wider array of industries,” said Mr Stephany, highlighting “healthcare, education, insurance and even farming” as sectors that are primed for disruption by the new business models of the sharing economy.
JustPark, which raised £3.7m from almost 3,000 investors earlier this year in the UK’s largest ever equity crowdfunding round, included the 865 companies listed under “sharing economy”, “collaborative consumption” and “peer-to-peer” on the start-up tracking websites AngelList and Crunchbase.
You can explore those companies here:
(via Just Park ).
This article was written by Lauren Davidson from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.