Sharetribe helps entrepreneurs and organizations create their own sharing economy platforms (like Airbnb or Uber) quickly and with a low budget. Our mission is to democratize the sharing economy by making platform technology accessible to everyone.
The company operates with an uncommon steward-ownership model. When reading this pitch, please pay close attention to the issue terms. This investment opportunity is not targeted to retail investors from the US.
How it all started
Sharetribe founders Juho and Antti started building their first peer-to-peer marketplace in the spring of 2008 in an Aalto University research project in Helsinki, Finland. The platform they built still operates in Aalto and allows students to borrow tools from each other, sell their old course books, and help each other in various ways. Juho and Antti got excited about the social and environmental potential of the sharing economy and decided to found Sharetribe in October 2011.
Their first business idea was to offer internal sharing communities to universities, cities and companies, but the business never took off. While working on their business, however, they met lots of other aspiring sharing economy entrepreneurs who all had the same problem: although they had a great business idea, they were lacking the skills or resources to build their own platform. Eventually, Antti and Juho decided to solve this problem.
In November 2014, Sharetribe launched its first product, Sharetribe Go. It’s a software solution for building and running marketplace websites. With Go, anyone can create their own peer-to-peer platform in one day and manage it with ease, without technical skills. The business model is similar to that of the blogging and publishing software WordPress: the software is open source, but non-developers can use a Software-as-a-Service solution at Sharetribe.com. Sharetribe charges its customers a monthly fee that starts from $79 and is based on the number of registered users on the platform.
Customers in almost 50 countries
Today, Sharetribe Go has almost 700 paying customers from nearly 50 countries around the world. Almost half a million people have joined Sharetribe Go -powered platforms. Our biggest market is the United States, with a 35% of our customers. 98% of our customers come from outside our home market, Finland. In 2017, our annual revenue passed $1M US dollars.
Some examples of our customers:
Studiotime, the “Airbnb for record studios”. Helps artists find studio time. Biggest marketplace for record studios in the world, currently listing 5% of all the world’s record studios on its platform.
Beautiers, the “eBay for pre-owned cosmetics”. Started by a popular video blogger. Used by thousands of young Spanish women.
Cycle.land, the “Airbnb for bicycles.” Started by a non-technical team of Oxford Alumni. Bootstrapped their business to profitability, after which they raised £400k+ through equity crowdfunding.
Other examples include peer-to-peer rental platforms for vintage cars, swimming pools, farming equipment, storage space, baby strollers, surfboards, caravans, power tools, and so on.
Our mission: Democratize the sharing economy
The sharing economy brings about many benefits: the things we own are used more efficiently, we can connect with others in our community, and we get extra income while doing so. Unfortunately, in the recent years, we have also seen problems arise from the sharing economy.
Today, the sharing economy is dominated by a handful of global giants like Airbnb and Uber. They have come up with tremendous innovations, but have also caused detrimental effects on society. People working through these platforms are often put in a precarious position, with no health insurance or social benefits, and are often at the mercy of the platforms who dictate the rules of their work and take a large cut of their income. Most of the platform fees go to the pockets of a small group of wealthy owners instead of flowing back into the local communities. In some cases, these platforms have also acted disrespectfully towards local legislation in order to maximize the speed of expansion and revenue growth. The startup world loves “disruption”, but we feel the end result of disruption is not always positive.
We want to create a better sharing economy; one where society gets the benefits of this new economy while distributing the value (i.e. profits) more evenly, placing it back into the local communities. By making marketplace technology accessible for everyone, we offer people a choice: if they are not happy with the rules or policies of a particular platform, they can simply vote with their feet and create their own platform instead.
We are working towards a future with thousands of thriving local sharing economy platforms, owned by small and medium-size businesses, social enterprises, co-operatives, non-profits, and cities.