{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Peer-to-peer services are starting to mess things up for real.

Which industries are next to be disrupted by the sharing economy? Will we cease to ‘own stuff’?

Whether you’ve only just heard about Airbnb, or are actively sharing your pride and joy via RelayRides, this is a disruptive business model that is expanding every quarter.

As Rachel Botsman eloquently puts it, many are learning to

  • Trust in strangers.
  • Value access over ownership.
  • Value experiences over owning stuff.

If you want hard numbers, Forbes magazine has estimated total revenues across the sharing and P2P companies could reach $3.5bn by 2014, with growth exceeding 25%.

So, here’s a decent sized list of companies focused on collaborative consumption, along with some warning shots, or notes of opposition from more traditional quarters. Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom, you’ll realise just how many of these companies there are.

Pets

Dogvacay

Dogboarding just got awesome.

Travel

Airbnb's success means a lot of us are familiar at least with one peer-to-peer travel company. There are many talking points in travel, both boons and threats.

Disaster Response - a real benefit in this sector

Disaster response is something that Airbnb discusses on its site, and is a service for which it waives all fees. If people want to take refugees into their own homes, P2P services may be the future of clearing up quickly after a disaster such as Hurricane Sandy.

Rogue punters and illegal hotels - potential problems

The danger of rogue punters is a perceived problem with all P2P services. What happens if someone rents your apartment, then trashes it? Insurance generally takes care of this but there is an issue if P2P companies dispute exactly what the cause of damage is, or suspect foul play.

Here’s an example from Airbnb where the home-owner was delisted, despite protesting that he’d done nothing other than advocate the service and allow what turned out to be hooligans into his home.

Another potential issue is local authorities propensity to look into cases of ‘illegal hotels’, and therefore prop up the hotel market. In May, New York fined a man for doing just this.

Of course, when it comes down to it, if the property isn’t yours and you intend to list it on a P2P site, you better make sure your landlord has agreed. Even if you own the property, there are often shared spaces which contractually don’t allow tenants to share the space with their peers.

There’s talk of European legislation to partially restrict the P2P market in accommodation.

So, which companies are in collaborative travel?

EasyNest

Share your hotel room! With the epic tag line – ‘Share Cost, Make Friends’. Let’s hope it’s a twin room.

Friends of Friends Travel

'Share with your friends, and their friends ONLY'. A great way to tone down the scare factor. But what if you have no friends? :-(

Tint.Travel

Another friends-of-friends collaborative travel network.

Vayable

Matches travellers with local experts who organise tours and such.

 

Voulez Vous Diner

‘Home dinners, away from home.’ Very nice indeed. Notice how we are so innately amenable to sharing that it’s incredibly easy to come up with an effective tag line for these services. Or maybe I’m too emotional?

HouseTrip

European version of Airbnb – ‘Pick a destination, choose a property that you like and enjoy an authentic stay.’

Wimdu

Another decent Airbnb flavoured service.

9flats

‘Rent from a local and enjoy a more comfy, personal and affordable world.’

Couchsurfing

The old-fashioned name for the whole P2P travel phenomenon. Couches in 230 countries!

Getting stuff done - tasks and oddjobs

Fairness of contract?

Employment law is a little bit hazy when outsourcing tasks. As most of the fees are set by the person advertising the task, there’s no minimum wage enforced, and it’s difficult to know just how much time is involved. All task doers usually have to work as independent contractors, responsible for their own tax returns.

Let's take a look at some of the companies that can help you find someone to do your jobs, or help other people.

Airtasker

An Australian service. ‘Outsource’ or take up tasks, from IT to deliveries, cleaning to data entry or flyering. There’s an app, too.

TaskRabbit

‘Your to-do’s done’ – very catchy. TaskRabbit have done very well in the US and are rolling out in the UK and globally towards the end of this year. The service also has a business arm that is simplifying recruitment and taking less of a cut.

Cronoshare

Spanish flavoured Airtasker.

Elance

Elance has been around for a while, and is a mix of crowd-sourcing and P2P. Professional work entails, rather than the oddjob, much like TaskRabbit’s biz service.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

The Turk has been around for a while now, and is named after an old automaton chess player. You can sign up to complete HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) or post your own.

Zaarly

This site links you up with both goods and services, and is less P2P than a marketplace for small businesses and freelancer. ‘Life is short. Do what you love.’

P2P Loans

P2P loans have a bit of a crappy reputation. The default rates a few years ago were higher than credit cards, and the interest is pretty high. Many remain unconvinced about the quality of underwriting.

But things are slowly changing.

Prosper

Bills itself as the first P2P marketplace in the US. The company has so far extended $535m of loans.

Lending Club

Along with Prosper they temporarily ceased business after the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008 required P2P lenders to register their offerings as securities. However, since then they’ve re-established themselves. And banks are now getting in on the P2P act, too, with Morgan Stanley dipping its toes in.

Morgan Stanley

A cheeky inclusion. Morgan Stanley, which runs the biggest network of financial advisers in the US, began offering some of its wealth management clients the ability to invest in Lending Club loans earlier this year.

QuarterSpot

Apparently their underwriting process is automated, takes seconds and requires only four pieces of information from borrowers.

Transport

Along with travel, perhaps the most familiar sector for P2P companies. There are startups in car sharing and parking most months, and big players are getting in on the act.

Insurance is again a big issue. Most P2P car networks insure up to around $1million. Although many car insurers will likely pay out over this value, some of them are setting their policies in definite antimony with P2P networks. Considering these networks are likely to grow, I think we’ll see insurers work together on this, but still a tricky subject.

After all, if you make enough to cover insurance and payments, why would you ever sell a car? You could own it and then make money from it, potentially, or at least avoid a loss.

Parking Panda

Find a place to park, or let one.

RelayRides

Cars and a stranger on an hourly or daily basis. Insurance, renter verification and screening, and 24/7 roadside assistance included.

Waze

Big publicity followed Google’s purchase of Waze, where drivers share real time traffic and road information. More crowd-sourcing than P2P, but a big part of the sharing industry, and similar in ethos to Fon’s prospect, allowing others to use your WiFi, in return for access to the entirety of the world’s hotspots.

ZipCars

‘Wheels when you want them’. A very well established brand now (acquired by Avis for $500million), although not P2P in the sense that the cars are Zip's own. But still collaborative consumption.

GoGet

An Australian ZipCar

Uber

Taxi app that connects you with drivers.

Aaaaannnnd...

Getaround 

Lyft

Sidecar

Carpooling

Liftshare

Go car share

Blablacar

Or you can use a bike with Spinlister - Rent bikes from awesome people.

Anything and everything! Or stuff

Why the hell would you own stuff, when we can live in an uber-fun, sharing, commune where one hoe, one lawnmower, etc is all we need! Problems? I can’t see any.

Neighboorgoods

SnapGoods

‘Want it. Get it. Give it back.’

Rentoid

Another Australian service. Rent a trombone or a Whirlpool.

Zilok

A UK version.

Hirethings

New Zealands flavour.

Freecycle

The good old, crappy noticeboard, essentially.

Gardening

Land Share

Fashion

Poshmark

Sell your haute couture.

Food

Kitchit

Where you can hire a private chef for your dinner party;

In this post I’ve focused only on middle to high profile P2P companies. You can check out tons more in the Collaborative Consumption directory.

Ben Davis

Published 7 August, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

806 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

Avatar-blank-50x50

Kenny Crofton

It looks like this can get a little messy, it will be interesting to see how this plays out and it society will accept this new culture.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Archie Alibasa, Marketing Manager at Transfercar Ltd

We at http://transfercar.com.au support the collaborative consumption/sharing economy advocacy. Our business revolves around this concept by facilitating contact between rental car companies and drivers that would like to relocate their cars. The rental operators can list their relocation cars on the Transfercar website. The drivers can then view and request to drive a car for free through the website. This business model offers a real win-win scenario, where the drivers get to drive a car for free and the rental car companies save on relocation costs.

We believe in the power of sharing for renewable supply and seriously push for the advancement and adoption of this peer to peer mentality to help create a more sustainable economical, social and environmental future for our society. Transfercar.com.au is our contribution to this movement. Thanks for the share!

over 2 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

tommy tommynelson, hshsh at sghs

ukshortstay

“Money can't buy happiness! It can, however, rent it” at http://flexiflat.co.uk/

over 2 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.