Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blue Ocean Opportunity: Branded Collaborative Economy Software

blue ocean 1024Blue Ocean Opportunity: Branded Collaborative Economy Software:

A market opportunity for the innovative entrepreneur and visionary VC, a new market awaits to be charted.
Opportunity for Enterprise Software in a New Category

I see a market opportunity, and want to get the word out to entrepreneurs and innovative brands. The number of startups are on the rise to support lending, borrowing, funding, trading, or gifting products and services, and brands are at risk of falling behind.There’s a business opportunity for an entrepreneurs, VCs, to create a movement that can enable brands to take advantage of this movement.
Market Demand

We’re more than half way done with interviews on our next report on the Collaborative Economy (and what it means to corporations), which I’ll be sharing as a keynote at Leweb, and one thing is for sure, this is an unstoppable trend:
  1. Some early clues from our analysis of 200 startups that there’s been over 2b of funding, and of those funded, they’ve received close to $28m, on average. These startups aren’t going away.
  2. We’re also seeing brands starting to jump in, in particular, innovative Walmart is considering to allow customers to deliver products to each other, in order to compete with the monster known as Amazon.
  3. Of course, the macro trend is this is a societal trend, as consumers have fewer resources, less land, and population increases, we will rely on trade and barter systems.
Use Cases and Scenarios

The goal is to enable brands to directly rent, lend their products or services to the market, or build a community that enables their customers to do it on their behalf. Imagine a branded Hyatt, Hilton or W Hotel version of AirBnb that rents out luxury guest rooms in a neighborhood you’re traveling to. Or a branded service of local talent for rent by Manpower, Kelly Services, or IBM services. Or imagine renting your neighbors Lexus, all powered by a version of Lyft or Zipcar that’s hosted by Toyota? This trend isn’t that new, over 6 years ago, we saw the rise of branded Online Communities, which comprised of 125 startups, but today, the dominant players are Jive, Lithium, Telligent, and a smattering of others.
Feature Requirements

There’s a number of features including:  An online marketplace or community, reputation features, ecommerce capabilities, APIs to connect to other program, and an aggressive marketing plan.   A professional services team for integration and implementation will be needed, as well as strategic services required to educate and provide business level strategy.  There’s also opportunities for digital agencies to provide branding and content, as well as communications teams to launch and seed with ongoing media aircover.
Market Contenders

Some of the initial players that could assemble these features rapidly are social commerce vendor known for ratings and reviews, Bazaarvoice, who has over 50% of the retailers already on their platform, or Lithium or Jive, a brandable community software and social management solutions that top enterprise companies are already using,  I can also foresee that Salesforce developer ecosystem could quickly put these tools together into a platform and brand for leading companies like Burberry.  I do think because most of these player are entrenched in their current business models they will not pivot fast enough, so there’s room for a scrappy early round startup to emerge, disrupting the space.
So there you have it, from your trusty Industry Analyst, there’s a blue ocean market opportunity on the horizon, and I see zero players to date.  Leave a comment if you know of a company seeking to solve this.  Contact me at jeremiah@altimetergroup dot com if you have more clues, or leave a comment.
As these vendors emerge, I’ll cross link below.