The top 40 + 10 marketplace investors and VC firms

The title says it all. Here are the people to keep an eye on in the marketplace investment scene.

Online marketplace Investors and VC firms - the venture capital landscape for 2021

List of online marketplace investors & VC firms to follow for marketplace insights. For our tips on growing your business, check out the marketplace marketing & growth articles library.


This article gives you a list of venture capital firms that invest in online marketplaces, two-sided platforms, and network effects businesses. At the bottom, you'll also find our top 10 individual online marketplace investors who you should follow to get valuable insights into the industry.

If your marketplace idea and target market are big enough, you might consider raising venture capital or taking on an angel investor to grow your business. Even if you don't, keeping an eye on VCs and marketplace investors, their blogs, discussions, and investment activity can give you valuable insights into marketplace dynamics, trends and business opportunities.

This article offers you a non-exhaustive list of VC firms with a specific focus on marketplaces, along with their HQ country and preferred round. We also list our top 10 insightful marketplace investors every marketplace entrepreneur should follow.

VC firms investing in online marketplaces

This list focuses on VC firms that have shown a special interest in online marketplaces, meaning they have invested in one or several of these types of startups.

Some additional explanation that will help with interpreting this list correctly:

Country
This is decided by the location of the headquarters. Some of these firms have offices in many locations. Please also note that the location does not necessarily say anything about the location in which they invest. This is especially the case for the bigger US firms. Many of them invest in European marketplaces as well. At the same time, some of the smaller European firms that prefer seed rounds invest only in Europe or even just in their own country.

Preferred Round
This is based on data from Dealroom.co, which offers a data-set of the entire venture capital and investment deals done in the world of startups. To determine the preferred round, we looked at the portfolio of each company and saw which type of round they had done most.

Marketplace Specialist
There are a few marketplace firms we regard as specialists, such as SpeedInvest X, Adevinta Ventures or PointNine Capital. These VC firms explicitly mention that online marketplaces and businesses with two-sided network effects are at the core of their investment thesis.

To help you find the most interesting marketplace investors, sort the table by the category by the category most relevant for you.

 

Name Country (HQ) Other marketplace investments Preferred Round Marketplace Specialist
Accel United States Blablacar, Deliveroo, Trulia, Etsy Series B no
Acton Capital Germany Expertlead, Lemonone Series B no
Adevinta Ventures Norway Paulcamper, Medwing Series A yes
Atomico United Kingdom JobandTalent Series A no
Autotech ventures United States Outdoorsy, Lyft, Fixico, Frontier Car Group Series A no
Axel Springer Germany Airbnb, Uber, Wonderflat, WayUp, Wunderflats Series A no
Balderton Capital United Kingdom 3dhubs, Rentify Series A no
Battery Ventures United States Sofar sounds, Spothere, Wag Series A no
Big Sur Ventures Spain Biddus, Celebrents Seed no
Cabra VC United States Ticketscloud, Series A no
Chicago Ventures United States Cameo, Havenly, SpotHero, Truss Series A no
Felix Capital United Kingom Farfetch, Mirakl Series B no
FJ Labs United States Alibaba, Blablacar, Book a Tiger Seed yes
Flashpoint Israel Ponominalu Series A no
Floodgate United States Lyft, Airgarage Series A no
Frog Capital United Kingdom Sofatutor, Rated People Early VC no
Global Founder Capital Germany Barn2door, Homeaway Seed no
HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Germany Scoutbee, Mercavus, Care.com Series A no
Jackson Square Ventures United States Upwork, Offerup, Cornership Series A yes
JME Ventures Spain JobandTalent, Voi, Saluspot Seed no
LeadX Capital Partners Germany Culinary Agents Seed no
Market One Capital Poland Eversports, Packhelp, Lunching.pl Seed yes
MHS Capital United States Thumbtack, Udemy, Sharegrid Series A no
NEA - New Enterprise Associates United States Hired, Raise Series B no
Northzone United Kingdom Lemoncat, Wallapop, Letgo Series A no
Peak Capital Netherlands United Wardrobe, Floryn, Cheapcargo Seed yes
Piton Capital United Kingdom Quandoo, Move24, Autotrader Series B yes
Point Nine Capital Germany Helplin, Deskbookers, Delivery Hero, DaWanda, Storefront Seed yes
Protos Ventures Poland Kolay Randevu Early VC no
Revo Capital Turkey Zizoo, Figopara, Peoplise Seed no
Ringier Switzerland Topjobs, Scout24 Series A no
Samaipata Spain Ontruck, Matera, Geomiq Series A yes
SpeedInvest X Austria CoachHub, PackHelp, Byrd Seed yes
Tekton Ventures United States Thumbtack, GreenCar, Outdoorsy Seed no
Uncork Capital United States Eventbrite, Postmates, Pared Seed no
Venturefriends Greece Stasher Seed no
White Star Capital United States Freshly, Activate Series A no
NFX United States Outdoorsy, Splacer, Incredible Health Seed yes
Starting Line United States Cameo, Hitch, Spothero Seed yes
Sova VC United Kingdom Laundryheap, Geomiq, Smartcat Series A yes

Most of the firms on the list also invest in other types of businesses. The criteria for considering these VC firms as marketplace specialists are very loose and mostly a subjective assessment by the author.

Are there firms missing? Let us know.

Top 10 online marketplace investors to follow

These marketplace investors can give you crucial insight into how to grow your business and where the industry is heading. Bookmark, follow, add to your feed, or do whatever you deem necessary to stay in the loop with them. We have collected all the ones mentioned here in one Twitter-list.

Simon Rothman - Twitter | Blog Partner at Greylock Partners, who specialize in online marketplaces. They have invested in Airbnb, EatWith, GoFundme, and most recently Convoy. Read his excellent essay “Network effects aren’t enough.

Bill Gurley - Twitter | Quora
General partner at the Benchmark VC firm, who invested in Uber, Zillow, Opentable and Grubhub (among others). He writes a lot about marketplaces. His two classic posts are A Rake Too Far: Optimal Platform Pricing Strategy and All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces.

Boris Wertz - Twitter | Quora
Founder and general partner at Version one ventures. He previously founded book marketplace JustBooks, which was acquired by AbeBooks, which in turn got sold to Amazon. He writes a lot about marketplaces. Together with others at Version One, he created a great spreadsheet of Marketplace KPIs and a guide to marketplaces.

James CurrierTwitter
Founder of NFX Guild, an accelerator that focuses on marketplaces and other network-effect businesses, such as Lyft and Poshmark. Read his article about The NFX Marketplace Scorecard.

Jeff Jordan – Twitter
Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, former CEO of OpenTable and former senior vice president at eBay North America. He writes and talks a lot about marketplaces, such as "How to manage tensions in online marketplaces".

Craig Shapiro
Twitter
Founder and managing partner of Collaborative Fund, which has invested in many collaborative economy marketplaces (Lyft, Kickstarter, TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, UpCounsel). He focuses on businesses that make the world a better place.

Brad Burnham - Twitter
Managing partner of Union Square Ventures, who invested in marketplaces like Etsy and La Ruche qui dit Oui! He has interesting thoughts on the future of marketplaces.

Tristan Pollock - Twitter
Currently a venture partner at 500 Startups, and previously the founder of Storefront. He started Marketplace dinners where marketplace entrepreneurs can meet one another. He regularly writes about marketplaces and also started a great Marketplaces facebook group. We recently interviewed him for the Academy.

Nicolas Debock - Twitter
Principal at Balderton Capital and formerly of XAnge. He specializes in the sharing economy. XAnge has invested in companies such as Etsy, Peerby, La Ruche qui dit Oui!, and A Little Market.

Point Nine Capital - Twitter | Medium
The last one on the list is not actually a person, but a very interesting VC firm. Point Nine invests in early-stage SaaS & marketplace businesses, and openly share a lot of information and spreadsheets, such as their analysis of the growing SaaS-enabled marketplace eco-system.

More marketplace experts to follow

The online marketplace industry is still very young. It is constantly changing and evolving. Business models, market opportunities, the funding landscape, payment systems, and many other parts of this ecosystem are in a continuous state of flux. All this makes being a part of the marketplace industry is very exciting.

In order to remain on top of things, it is a good idea to follow the people who are shaping and analyzing the industry. In addition to this list of marketplace investors and VCs, be sure to check our articles on:

Many of the people on these three lists have inspired us while we wrote the Marketplace guide and other articles for the Marketplace Academy, and some have contributed with guest articles and interviews themselves.

These lists are, of course, subjective and by no means complete. If you feel that someone crucial is missing from our list, please e-mail sjoerd@sharetribe.com. We'll be sure to add them to our next edition of the list.

Of course, don’t forget to follow @Sharetribe on Twitter, where we share our best marketplace-related articles. By signing up for the Marketplace Academy mailing list, you'll also get notified of new content targeted at helping marketplace entrepreneurs succeed with their business.


You might also like...

Author: Juho Makkonen
Juho Makkonen
Feb 24, 2021
Marketing & growth

11 marketplace metrics you should be tracking to measure your success

The most important metrics that anchor all your marketing and growth activities.

› Continue reading

Author: Juho Makkonen
Juho Makkonen
May 25, 2016
Marketing & growth

How to find the best marketplace growth strategies

Choosing the early-stage marketing mix for your marketplace.

› Continue reading

Author
Mira Muurinen
Nov 2, 2018
Marketing & growth

Sarah Rose at the Marketplace Conference: UrbanSitter's playbook for Geographic expansion

This talk by UrbanSitter’s COO is a must for any marketplace entrepreneur planning on launching new markets.

› Continue reading

Let's build a marketplace!

  • Launch quickly
  • Expand on-demand
  • Support every day
Start building for free