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💸 "The Next Wave of Marketplace Startups"

a16z Podcast

Photo by Oberon Copeland / Unsplash

Host: Lauren Murrow
Guests: Connie Chan, D’Arcy Coolican, Jeff Jordan & Sriram Krishnan | Consumer Team | a16z
Category: Biz & Tech | 💸 Venture Capital

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[3:09] “[During the pandemic] you are not able to spend money on things that you were able to do in the past, so you can invest in and spend money in new categories. I think the rise of things [in home entertainment, especially associated with celebrities], like Cameo, speak to that.”

[14:03] “Marketplaces thrive where there is fragmented participation, particularly in the supply side. You don’t want a very concentrated supply side, because then the suppliers have power. But if you do the hard work of aggregating a very fragmented supply base, it can become extremely powerful. OpenTable would be an example of that.”

[18:46] “The key thing from the marketplaces’ perspective [with the back and forth in Covid restrictions] is, […] can they insulate themselves from that changing consumer behavior or can they tailor their concept enough to be agnostic to whether people are locked down or not. I’ve looked at Airbnb for example. Immediately, early in the pandemic, their business just came to a stop, because international travel came to a stop and cross-country travel came to a stop. And then consumers adjusted and the platform was flexible enough to get adjusted. So instead of long distance and international trips, people were taking long duration, near term trips. So, a lot of these companies are gonna be sensitive to what’s gonna happen at the macro and some companies made progress in doing that.”

[19:33] “I think a lot of building a marketplace is hitting that tipping point, where you have enough liquidity, you have enough supply, you have enough demand to actually make the marketplace work, to make the economics work. And often times it’s about getting to enough scale in whatever market you exist in. And so, I think to a certain extent, what 2020 did is it let a lot of companies get to that tipping point and get to that level of marketplace liquidity that even if demand ebbs and flows moving forward and is not at the place it is today, they have still crossed the threshold.”

[20:22] “I think a lot of the habits will actually persist. Maybe groceries and food delivery won’t be up to the same level, but I think a lot of people built that habit now over multiple months. […] I do think also a lot of online EdTech was accelerated and folds forward. Same thing with second hand clothing. […] Pets are one of those sectoral trends. Pets are the new kids for a lot of people. I would expect to see pets continuing to rise. […] The other one I’d make a pledge for is health and wellness, whether it’s therapy, […] coaching, […] fitness, […] everything in that category just seems to be moving very quickly. […] I think outdoor travel and marketplaces for outdoor experiences feels like one of those things that hit its moment during Covid and I think that will well persist, whether it’s RVs, whether it’s campgrounds.”

[24:23] “There will probably be a decline in the amount of office space in the United States that’s actually gonna get rented […] 2021 versus 2019 […]. But […] for the marketplaces that are offering more flexible office space […], even though the top line number might come down, the marketplace might actually bounce back to the heights or much higher than they were before the pandemic.”

Rating: 🍎🍎🍎

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 28 min | 🗓️ 03/24/2021
✅ Time saved: 25 min

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