With the rise of the sharing economy, various white label platform models are emerging to provide anyone and everyone with the means to set up their own peer-to-peer marketplace.
The sharing economy is based on connecting people. Providers and potential users of goods and services need to be able to interact in order to see what resources are on offer and make such person-to-person exchanges possible. To serve this need, a growing number of online or real-world platforms have been appearing with a view to helping people find others with whom they wish to share things. Some of these websites focus on offering specific products and services, such as Airbnb for private accommodation and TaskRabbit for finding people to carry out small jobs and run errands. At the same time other types of online platforms such as Near Me, Sharetribe and MyTurn are now entering the sharing economy with a mission to help people set up peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction on a white-label basis. These platforms are designed to help anyone and everyone to create their own marketplace in which to share any product or service imaginable. These firms see themselves as the Content Management Systems (CMS) of the sharing economy, WordPress for instance serving as a CMS for online publication, Magento for e-commerce and CrowdHoster for crowdfunding.
White label platforms
Californian startup Near Me has created a platform for people to set up their own P2P marketplaces. No coding skills are needed and Near Me provides an intuitive dashboard which includes all the essentials for designing, setting up and managing an online market – telephone support, payments processing (via Paypal, Stripe etc.), plus tools for marketing, analysis, hosting and security. The system also offers the option of linking up with social networks. The company charges for installation and subsequent hosting on a monthly basis, after which there are no per-transaction fees. This software package has already been used to create marketplaces for co-working, photo equipment and rental of boats, tools and musical instruments. Meanwhile Helsinki-based Sharetribe offers an online platform for sharing-type businesses on a white label basis, which operates along similar lines to Near Me but with a few basic differences. According to ShareTribe co-founder and CEO Juho Makkonen, the open source solution that his firm provides offers options for much greater personalization, as users can modify the actual site codes.
Enabling more widespread creation of marketplaces
Near Me and Sharetribe share the basic aim of enabling all kinds of people to set about creating their own peer-to-peer marketplace platform. Sharetribe CEO Juho Makkonen started out from the principle that the open source ideology has a vital contribution to make to the sharing economy. He firmly believes that if everyone openly shared what they built, people could do great things together. While these two startups aim to reach as many users as possible, Sharetribe intends to meet the needs of individual people, whereas Near Me is focusing more on responding to demand from entrepreneurs and established brands. Meanwhile MyTurn has not yet focused its efforts on creating a P2P white label sharing platform but it has started to test the market. The firm currently offers a single online marketplace where organizations such as local authorities, universities and community groups can manage assets and (frequently under-used) resources, either lending them free-of charge or renting them out – either way with a view to optimizing these resources and enabling everyone to get hold of the tools and equipment they need to live, work, learn and play.