Year after year online marketplaces continues to be one of the hottest investment areas across the tech sector. But while the volume of investment in the space continues to grow, so too does the breadth of businesses and models that are defined as digital marketplaces.
Online powerhouses Amazon and eBay laid the foundations for online retail with their one-size-fits-all marketplaces. The next wave of businesses definined itself by specialising in specific niches and interest, catering to the highly-engaged shopper as consumers became more comfortable with spending online. Fast forward to today and the market is a much more crowded and vibrant space with comparison sites, recommendation and discovery apps, listing sites and even social networks described as ‘marketplaces’. The sharing economy phenomenon is one of the key drivers, as is the growing sophistication of e-commerce. It's clear that investment will only keep climbing as the market expands to service more complex consumer demands.