- Business card
- Business class
- Business ideas
- Business license
- Business management
- Business park
- Business plan
- Business school
- Business solutions
- Financial aid
- Financial group
- Financial management
- Financial services
- Financial statements
- Home business
- Personal Finance
- Savings account
- Small business
- Wealth management
Next Generation P2P: Measuring Growth in the Peer-to-Peer Industry
If anything, peer-to-peer businesses are reaching for the next rung. As Internet usage expands — as it did, acutely, during the past half decade — the ability to connect and, perhaps more importantly, the ways that we connect, have been bridge-building engines for the P2P industry.
That's led to predictions, via Forbes, in 2013, of a 25% industry growth rate, with of some $3.5 billion in the share economy.
"Not just P2P services, but P2P commerce," said Tom Liravongsa, analyst, founder, and CEO of Breakupgoods. "As the Internet has grown, so has the need to seek the better deal, and find the person who is willing to go the distance for the job or goods."
See also: 17 Business Models Shaking Up the Marketplace
From providing rides, for a fee, in your own car to taking on tasks for P2P platform users — often shopping and/or deliveries — to putting up your apartment for rent (or seeking one to rent during your next trip), iterations of peer-to-peer businesses abound.
Timmy Wahba, co-founder and director of strategic growth at Projective Space, said that, while the industry is likely to experience its share of growing pains, he sees signs of expansion within the P2P business space as well.
"P2P is the hottest concept that anyone with a mobile [device] and a task to do can understand,"Wahba said. "The share economy is now in our consciousness as an obvious resource, the generational divide [regarding] P2P will continue to be bridged."
With ideas like that in mind, let's take a look at just what's happening when it comes to examples of P2P businesses. Here's a snapshot of three, what they do and what kind of numbers they're generating, with data supplied by their in-house analysts.
This longstanding UK-based peer-to-peer lending service has seen the equivalent of approximately $1 billion change hands through its system, since launch in 2005. Users become either lenders or borrowers, and then requests for loans are paired with lenders that are prepared to work within the parameters the borrower represents. What follows are stats the company had to offer about its growth in recent years.
Time to launch: Idea to launch: 10 months ; Funding to launch: 6 months
Employee growth: 2005: 9 ; 2014: 65 ; Percentage hired in past 12 months: 50%
Number of lenders and borrowers, combined: 2013: 130,000+
Recent revenue: 2013: $8.4M ; 2014: $17M (projected)
Overall percentage growth (year over year): 100%
Launched in 2008, and one of the well-known players in the peer-to-peer business space, Airbnb supplies a marketplace to consumers who want to offer and/or rent accommodations around the world. Taking off on vacation for a week this summer? You can put your pad on Airbnb, set a price and pitch it to the platform's users as a place to stay. Why not make a little extra money while you're relaxing at the lake house?
Similarly, if you're touching down in L.A. for a meeting or two, there's no need to choose the costliest, most sterile hotel spots for your visit. Find a funky studio in Venice via Airbnb; you can even filter by price range and amenities, and tailor your search to include specific keywords (ocean side, for example). The numbers are a testament to the site's success — Airbnb hosts 300,000 listings and has helped more than 4 million travelers book stays.
While they're now a $2.5 billion company, it was a rocky start for Airbnb. The business almost shuttered in 2009, just a year into its run. But then, the founders realized a significant problem: The shaky photos on their website didn't do much to promote the spaces available for rent. The company took the labor-intensive step of snapping great shots of units, and then make that pro-image aesthetic the new standard for listings on the site. Revenue doubled in a week.
This e-platform allows users to list spaces — from offices to boats, even your living room couch — and rent it to others. Need some extra admin support? You can bring in services of that ilk, via HappyDesk, as well. Here's how they characterized their growth, since launch in 2014.
Time to launch: Previous iteration to present company: ~12 months
Employee growth: 2013: 2 (pre-launch) ; 2014: 10
Number of users in 2014: 200+
Top three resources rented via HappyDesk: Space: 75% ; Services: 15% ; Cloud: 10%
"The sharing economy is going to grow, thanks to technology," said Dale Hersowitz, co-founder of HappyDesk. "Online marketplaces make it easy and affordable to find and list products and services. The next steps will be to make the process easier, more seamless and, most importantly, more secure. There is still some hesitancy in online commerce … being sure you're purchasing a great product or service. Technology can ease those concerns."
Furthermore, says Wahba, when it comes to P2P platforms — perhaps in still-to-come iterations — the freelance sector might have something to anticipate about the industry's evident growth.
"P2P sites for freelancers in specific industries will become a major tool for recruitment by corporations," Wahba says. "Corporate recruiters will poach the highest rated freelancers … corporate venture capital will entertain acquiring certain P2P niche marketplaces for skilled, specific freelancers — to control access to a well vetted talent pool."
One thing's for certain, if there's a way to leverage P2P for more and better opportunities, freelancers are just the sector to position itself as a vanguard in that regard. The future of peer-to-peer continues to unfold; the numbers and the analysts suggest it's a bright one.
Category: Business ideas