The online marketplace industry is still very young. It is constantly changing and evolving—and as a result, being a part of it is very exciting. Business models, market opportunities, the funding landscape, payment systems, and many other parts of this ecosystem are in a continuous state of flux. In order to remain on top of things, it is a good idea to follow the people who are shaping and analyzing the industry.
We have gathered three lists of people to follow along with their active platforms. These lists are, of course, subjective and by no means complete. Many of these people inspired us while we wrote the Marketplace guide and other articles for the Marketplace Academy. Each list represents a perspective on the industry:
This is the first list, with marketplace investors. Also have a look at our lists of most important marketplace thought leaders and our favorite marketplace founder & CEOs in the next few days. So bookmark, follow, add to your feed, or do whatever you deem necessary to stay in the loop with these people. We have collected all the ones mentioned here in one Twitter-list.
If your idea and target market are big enough, you might consider raising venture capital or taking on an angel investor to grow your business. But even if this is not the case, following these ten marketplace investors can give you crucial insight into how to grow your business and where the industry is heading.
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 Currier – Twitter
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.
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.
Of course, don’t forget to follow @Sharetribe on Twitter, where we share the best marketplace-related articles on a daily basis. 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.
If you feel that someone crucial is missing from our list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sure to add them to our next edition of the list.