Sharetribe joins Polte

November 8, 2013

Read time 2 min

This is the best part of my job. This moment when I get to share a story of an awesome startup and its founders with the world.

Today it is Sharetribe, a forerunner in the wave of the “sharing economy”. Our consumption habits and lives in general are changing permanently. Ownership becomes irrelevant, if you have access to the things you want to use. Technology and social networks help us share resources more conveniently and safely than ever before.

Juho and Antti are great guys that caught on early to the power of online communities as marketplaces. Their Sharetribe service has hosted a number of active community marketplaces ranging from university campuses to neighborhoods since 2011.

When they came to us, they had an eye-opening story to tell: they had observed and understood the dynamic of online communities forming.

Sharetribe is a prime example of a pivot. These guys have been building a product and delivering a service that their end users simply love. While the initial business model has kept them from launching on a hockey stick trajectory, the knowledge accumulated is immensely valuable. And finally, the problem was brought to them. The new model will be launched at Slush and we are convinced it will set awesome things in motion.

The sharing economy needs easy-to-use tools to flourish. Sharetribe will be to peer-to-peer commerce what WordPress was for publishing.

Big players like Airbnb and Lyft have invested greatly into building great businesses on sharing communities they’ve cultivated. They are just the tip of an iceberg: the world is an endless mesh of communities, most of them small. They all provide their members the security of trust and the experience of a shared interest.

The social glue of these communities may be a shared interest, proximity or anything imaginable. To grow and flourish, marketplaces need active community builders: the right person. That person needs to be an entrepreneur and have an economically viable way of getting into that work.

Sharetribe enables anyone to set up a marketplace within minutes – like Shopify, but for peer-to-peer commerce. Payments are processed securely through the system. The site owner can choose from different earning models with a click.

Pilot clients already have marketplaces running. At Slush, the product will be presented to a wider audience.

Do you have that awesome startup idea for an “Airbnb for X” or “Etsy with Y”? Here’s your chance to get it going fast.

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