As Israel observes Hanukkah – a celebration of the light among the darkness – it’s time to highlight the tech trends creating sparks within the Startup Nation.
Note, these trends are based on our deal flow – what our team sees on the ground.
Trend 5/8: Sharing Economy
How a trend is born:
You exit the airplane, get into a taxi, pick up the keys to your lodging and open the door… to someone else’s home.
Airbnb has dramatically changed the way people find accommodations when they’re planning vacations. It’s just one member of a major startup trend: The sharing economy.
This model, build on the sharing of human and tangible resources, is also referred to as peer-to-peer, mesh and collaborative consumption. Anything that can be created, produced or consumed is part of this socio-economic economy built for easy and cheaper acquisition of goods and services.
‘Sharing economy’ as a term began in the mid-2000s. Consider eBay, Craigslist and Krrb – these are all marketplaces that are built on a collaborative consumption model. Today, within the startup culture in both Israel and beyond, there are plenty of sectors building on the concept, including social lending, accommodation, travel, and commute.
Israel has a long history of sharing resources, the most prominent example being the collective farms and communal living arrangements new immigrants founded in the country’s early years called the kibbutz. Although Israel progressed over the years from socialism to capitalism, instituting a primarily consumption-based economic system, this transformation contributed to the the country’s establishment as the world’s #2 startup ecosystem. The Israeli tech-savvy and entrepreneurial community is indeed viewed as ready-made for a collaborative consumption system, and therefore, it is not surprising that many of the Sharing Economy companies, platforms, and products originate from the Startup Nation.
- EatWith: EatWith is a trusted global community marketplace offering alternative dining experiences in people’s homes around the world, allowing guests to connect with local hosts and enjoy delicious homemade cuisines.
- Parko: OurCrowd’s portfolio company Parko has developed a smartphone app that saves drivers time by matching departing and arriving cars in parking situations. It employs predictive algorithms to understand and broadcast when a Parko user is approaching their vehicle to vacate a space and sends an alert to a nearby Parko user searching for parking – matching drivers to each other.
- WeWork: A community for creators, WeWork transform buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provide infrastructure, services, events and technology so their members can focus on doing what they love.
- Casa Versa: Casa Versa is a home exchange platform that connects people around the world with each other for the purpose of swapping their houses for vacation and travel.
- Petbnb: An ‘Airbnb’ for your pets, Petbnb [Hebrew] helps dog owners find a welcome home away from home for their pet while they are on holiday. The service is currently available in Israel and is coming to the US soon.
We’re going to continue seeing more and more industries touched by the sharing economy. OurCrowd has invested in a few other ‘social’ services, like Social Bicycles, a turnkey bike share platform with a disruptive business model that is already generating over $3M in annual revenue. bike share is the fastest growing mode of public transport globally. In addition, Boatbound, another OurCrowd portfolio company, is the fastest growing peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace in the US.
Check back with us each night of Hanukkah to learn about another tech trend sparking the Startup Nation!