Startup Show-n-Tell: Marketplaces
As a distributed company with team members living and working across the world, we’ve taken to Slack to stay in touch to handle some aspects of just about every mission critical business process. One of those processes is sharing interesting business tactics, thought provoking posts, and general randomness that we come across on a day to day basis. Each week, we collect some of the things that got us talking here in our Startup Show-N-Tell post.
This week, we took in interest in everything surrounding the Etsy IPO, specifically in what lessons can be learned from the company’s growth as a marketplace business. Although Visible is not a pure marketplace like Etsy, our business model does display some marketplace traits.
Founded 10 years ago and now employing over 700 people, Etsy has become an ecommerce behemoth, giving small retailers and makers the ability to expose their unique products to a broader online audience. In advance of the company going public in the biggest NYC VC-backed tech exit ever, EquityZen published a look at the company’s journey from inception to IPO, specifically focusing on its various rounds of funding (spoiler alert: USV did very well).
In their IPO, the company set aside 5% of its shares to allow smaller investors to purchase between $100 and $2,500 worth of Etsy stock, prompting Kim Gittleson of the BBC to wonder whether craft and capitalism can coexist. Reactions to the IPO from Etsy’s retailers were mixed while the market responded very favorably, likely due in part to the dearth of IPOs so far in 2015.
- Virality vs. Network Effects – Often confused, “possibly because the two often occur together and, in such cases, end up reinforcing each other.”
- Hunter Walk shares his thoughts on why a good marketplace looks like a SaaS business
- Our own Reading List features a few articles on what metrics and KPIs are important to track for early stage marketplace businesses
- A16Z’s Jeff Jordan sits down with the founders of some massive marketplace-driven companies (Lyft and Airbnb among them) to discuss the regulatory environment around the sharing economy.
- As the business model becomes more and more pervasive, Dan Kurani, formerly of Thumb, dives into how VCs can place the right bets and entrepreneurs can attack the marketplace space via a community-driven approach
- 9 Rules for Your Unborn (or Growing Startup) – “Let the Axe Do the Work” and 8 other maxims to help you build your startup
- Last week’s “Startup Show-n-Tell” featuring an amazing talk from Scott Galloway on the “Four Horsemen of the Tech Apocalypse”
- We’re hiring a designer! If you are interested in applying (or know someone who would be a fit), send our CTO Karel an email