Sharing Economy is growing faster than Facebook, Google and Yahoo combined

  • Monday 16th March 2015
  • by Crowdcube

A major new study from ‘What We Know About the Global Sharing Economy’, brings together all of the economic data for the first time on the international potential and growth of the Sharing Economy.  Exploring the global drivers for this growth, the key markets and investment models, the report shines a light on this new but rapidly growing market.

“The Sharing Economy has now become the growth sector to invest in.  It’s growing at an incredibly fast rate, faster than Facebook, Google and Yahoo together.  What makes it valuable is that it not only provides an exceptional investment opportunity and economically is growing incredibly fast, but it puts the environment and sustainability at the heart of the way in which it operates.  The market has also been driven from the bottom up with consumers actively participating and driving it, making it unique,” said Benita Matofska, Founder, Compare and Share.

The Sharing Economy is valued at $15bn globally. By 2025, its value is estimated to rise to $335 billion globally.  This is just the tip of the iceberg as this valuation just includes 5 market verticals: P2P finance, tasks/jobs/skills, P2P accommodation, car sharing and media (music/video streaming).

With $28 million a day invested in Sharing Economy startups, the ingredients for its current growth rate and capacity to sustain its growth are the £3.5 trillion of idle resources -  empty properties, cars, electronic goods, furniture, clothes, household goods - plus the appetite of consumers to turn these idle resources into assets, as well as saving them from being thrown away.  The utilisation of technology has acted as the enabler, with companies providing platforms for these goods and services to be bought and sold such as Airbnb, Zipcar, Housetrip, JustPark, Blablacar, Rentmyitems, Sharemystorage, Echo, Tablecrowd, Borrowmydoggy and Uber.

Initially kick-started by the global economic downturn, consumer appetite to sell their idle assets has generated this new market, along with consumers wanting to buy a more desirable lifestyle by sharing or renting it rather than buying it.  28% of adults globally are members of sharing services, 46% of people globally prefer to share goods rather than own them and 68% of adults worldwide are willing to share or rent goods for money.  64% are now participating in sharing activities in the UK (Nesta, 2014).

Globally the Sharing Economy is taking off with take up in many different markets.  The UK is one of the pioneers of the Sharing Economy with a current valuation of £0.5 billion (PwC) predicted to rise to $9 billion by 2025 and 64% of adults participating in sharing services (Nesta, 2014) The US is a significant market with an estimated 80 million sharers in the US (Crowd Companies, 2014), however the market to watch and invest that has the highest participation rates is Asia-Pacific with 78% willing to share their own goods and 81% willing to rent from others.

The overall global market is rapidly expanding with over 7,500 sharing platforms globally.  The Global Sharing Economy Directory on has now 7,553 listings of companies that grew by 7% in the last 6 months of 2014.

Investment in this new economy is booming with $28 million a day invested in startups and 37% of Sharing Economy startups being VC funded.  The advent of crowdfunding has democratised finance giving startups new ways of accessing capital from the crowd, with 80% of Sharing Economy startups seeing crowdfunding as the best way to raise capital.

“The Sharing Economy is now a worldwide phenomenon. In order to propel further global growth, I have led the development of a trust kitemark called Sharetrade that will enable consumers to engage in sharing activities safely and securely. Sharetrade will help to de-risk the Sharing Economy, hugely increasing investment in the sector, which in turn will make a significant contribution to the future global economy,” said Benita Matofska, Founder and CEO, Compare and Share.