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10 Signs Web-Based Sharing Is Reaching A Tipping Point Cleantech News and Analysis

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While the concept of using the web to share “stuff” — from cars to apartments to tools — is still relatively new to many consumers, the business model is being adopted by a growing number of companies and I think has started to reach a tipping point and become more of a mainstream concept.

So-called collaborative consumption has also started to make some companies a significant amount of money. Here are 10 signs that I’ve seen that a web-based sharing economy is movin’ into the mainstream:

1). Airbnb $1 Billion Valuation: The peer to peer apartment and house rental startup Airbnb is reportedly raising a $100 million (or more) sized round, at a $1 billion-plus valuation, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Previously the Y-Combinator company had only raised $7.8 million. No doubt such a large leap in funding will help the company rapidly grow, and continue to bring in more users beyond the early adopter crowd.

2). Zipcar’s IPO: In mid-April car sharing company Zipcar debuted on the Nasdaq at an eye-opening $30 per share, up over 60 percent from its offering price of $18. The company’s stock is trading around $25 at last close. Zipcar has been growing its business over the past decade, but decided this was the year investors would embrace the IPO. They were right.

3). New Innovative Startups Emerging: It seems like new websites using this type of business model are emerging on a regular basis. Baby clothing swap site thredUP launched in April 2010 and has been growing its business well ever since. Neighborgoods is another newish site that is organized around finding objects for rent via neighborhoods and locations, instead of around specific items. Toygaroo is like the Netflix for kids toys, where parents can rent toys for use, and then return them, and get new ones.

Continue via 10 Signs Web-Based Sharing Is Reaching A Tipping Point Cleantech News and Analysis.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 31, 2011 at 14:47

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