Last week, BLOOM’s Eric and Fabian visited The Marketplace Conference in Berlin. At this conference, VCs, marketplace founders, and experts meet to talk about the present and future of marketplaces and their unique network effects. Our friends from OLX Ventures, Speedinvest, Eversport, Point Nine Capital, Vinted and many more shared their stories. For us as seasoned marketplace advisors, it was great have to in-depth discussions and see many of our clients and partners gathered together.
In general, we see trends towards centralisation instead of decentralisation (arguing blockchain is dead, for now). Also, the 5th generation of marketplaces is arising: full-stack, managed, end-to-end and aimed at complex services.
Some specific take-aways from:
- Tourradar, a marketplace connecting people to ‘life enriching travel experiences’, spoke about the not so obvious benefits of supply:
- More suppliers = more listings = more landing pages, which will drive organic growth.
- Conversion will rise as customers find the right product for them.
- Brand association: on-board well-known suppliers early, to give your start-up credibility.
- Delivery Hero, the parent company of Foodora, managed to scale their acquisition (+70%), while simultaneously bringing CPA down (-40%), by following two principles: CPA never above CLV (with 20% IRR discount) and marketing budget set based on CPA effectiveness. They use top-down Media Mix Modelling (MMM): trying to predict the acquisition (# orders) by various variables related to the marketing channels (e.g. € TV spend, # FB clicks, # SEA clicks) and external factors (e.g. weather, season, day, etc.). This allows you to assess impact on your top-line from offline channels that are typically hard to attribute.
- Atomico / Uber talked about Uber‘s international expansion playbook, allowing them to scale so fast – which arguably makes that playbook one of their most valuable assets. Super-short version of the playbook:
- Select a limited geographic region, not necessarily the whole city, but for example only the city center.
- Build supply first by financially incentivising drivers, so you know you will have good client experience.
- Demand will build relatively cost-effectively, as good experience leads to virality.