Building a marketplace business is notoriously tough. But when it works out, such a business can be very valuable because the network effects of a marketplace make it hard for other businesses to compete.
To give you a sense of just how much value investors see in marketplace businesses, here are 15 marketplace startups that have each raised over $50 million. (I’m betting there are more than a couple you don’t know!)
Indonesia’s answer to Amazon and Alibaba, Tokopedia is an ecommerce marketplace that helps brands and small businesses sell to consumers. They’ve received a total of over $1.3 billion in funding, including backing from Alibaba.
Mercari is a mobile peer-to-peer marketplace helping people buy and sell used goods. The service was launched and grew rapidly in Japan and has since expanded to the US and UK. The company has raised over $116 million in funding.
Paddle8 is an auction-based marketplace for buying and selling art. It was founded in 2011 and has received $51 million in funding.
Jobandtalent is a job marketplace from Spain which now serves a number of countries, mainly across Europe. It has raised over $85 million.
ezCater is a marketplace making it easy to order office catering from nearby restaurants. It has raised over $69 million in funding.
Tradesy lets people buy and sell new and preowned designer fashion and accessories and raised $74.5 million.
8. Managed by Q
Managed by Q is a platform for office management that acts as a marketplace between office occupants and service providers such as cleaners and handymen. The company was founded in 2013 and has raised over $72 million.
Shyp connects businesses and consumers with shipping carriers. Founded in 2013, they’ve raised just over $62 million.
Lyst is a London-based fashion marketplace and aggregator which lets consumers shop from a large range of stores, all in one place. They’ve raised $60 million in funding.
Another London-based business, LendInvest is a marketplace for property finance for property professionals. They’ve raised over $59 million in funding.
12. Science Exchange
Science Exchange is a marketplace for scientific research where you can order outsourced research and development services from thousands of qualified service providers. The company has raised $58 million in funding.
HomeLight is a marketplace connecting home sellers to estate agents, using reviews and sale price data to help home owners find the best agents in their area. They’ve raised a total of $55 million.
14. Apartment List
Apartment List is an apartment rental marketplace based in San Francisco. It has raised $59 million in funding.
Policygenius is an insurance comparison service (effectively a marketplace connecting consumers with insurance providers). Founded in 2014 and based in New York, the company has raised $51 million.