Introducing the new Sharetribe

A super-fast no-code marketplace builder and a powerful developer platform, in one marketplace solution.

Jan 31, 2024

Screenshot of Sharetribe's page on Product Hunt, with 947 upvotes and a laurel for 2nd place Product of the Day.

Nearly ten years ago, we launched Sharetribe Go, the world’s first no-code marketplace builder. Six years ago, we released Sharetribe Flex, the first-ever marketplace solution targeted at software developers. Now, we’re bringing these two solutions into one product: Sharetribe – the ultimate marketplace software for founders.

Yesterday, we launched an entirely new kind of marketplace software solution. (And made #2 Product of the Day out of 140 products that were launched that day on Product Hunt!)

The new Sharetribe combines the best of two worlds: a no-code marketplace builder that can be infinitely extended through a flexible developer platform. 

We’ve spent the past two years building the new Sharetribe, but really it’s the result of a decade of work powering online marketplaces. So allow me to take you on a brief history tour to show you the foundation on which we built our best solution yet.

Sharetribe Go – empowering non-technical founders

The release of Sharetribe Go in 2014 empowered thousands of non-technical, bootstrapping founders to follow their dreams and launch their own marketplace. 

Before, this kind of project took a full-stack development team or a five-figure budget. After our launch, building a marketplace website and launching it to the world took no more than a few hours. We saw founders who got an idea and launched their marketplace the same evening.

Sharetribe Go demonstrated the power of no-code, but also its limits. Every marketplace idea is unique, so many founders eventually came across a feature they needed that Go didn't have. Go empowered you to validate your idea, but it often didn't let you truly scale your business. 

Go demonstrated the power of no-code, but also its limits. It let you validate your idea, but not truly scale your business. 

Furthermore, the feature requests from our customers were so vast and unique that we realized it wouldn’t be possible to build a no-code platform that would satisfy all of them. Ultimately, every successful marketplace business would have to engage in custom development.

So, in the course of time we noticed that whenever a marketplace became successful, it needed to eventually move away from Sharetribe Go. Typically, to a custom-built tech platform that was just as expensive and time-consuming to build as before.

Sharetribe Flex – a unique marketplace at a fraction of the cost

With Sharetribe Flex, we wanted to make building an entirely unique marketplace radically more affordable. This way, every founder whose marketplace business showed traction would be able to take the next step. Bootstrapped if they so choose.

With Sharetribe Flex, there were no limits to what you could build. A unique pixel-perfect design? An AI-powered recommendation algorithm? A native mobile app? All of this was possible. And thanks to Flex’s powerful developer platform, building was remarkably fast compared to starting from scratch. 

Another significant benefit was Flex’s scalable cloud infrastructure and marketplace management tools. They continued to provide value even and especially when a marketplace reached a really large scale.

Flex really only had one problem, but it was a big one. You needed to know how to code.

With Flex, we started seeing our customers reach a big scale. Today, there are several Flex-powered marketplaces that have grown to hundreds of thousands of users and process millions in payments. Many have also raised millions in funding. Some of these marketplaces started with just a non-technical founding team and now have teams bigger than ours. Their engineers are constantly building new unique features on top of the Sharetribe infrastructure their marketplace is based on. 

Flex also allowed an ecosystem to grow around it. A network of Sharetribe Experts formed, and today some of them employ dozens of people who are working solely on Sharetribe marketplaces.

Flex really only had one problem, but it was a big one. You needed to know how to code.

Any changes to a Flex-powered marketplace always needed to be made with code. A non-technical founder wouldn’t even be able to get the site up and running, much less customize things like copy or look and feel. Founders could start no-code with Sharetribe Go and then move to Flex, but you had to completely rebuild your site because Flex was a separate product. And you lost the ability to make changes without coding.

We realized that we needed to find a way to combine the best of both worlds – a no-code marketplace builder and a developer platform – into one solution that would have all of the benefits of both approaches with none of the downsides. It was a massive technical challenge, but after years of hard work, we cracked it. Enter, the new Sharetribe.

The new Sharetribe – marketplace software for founders at every stage and scale

With the new Sharetribe, building a marketplace website is just as fast as with Sharetribe Go – you can do it one day, no coding required. The new Sharetribe also comes with lots of new no-code capabilities that Sharetribe Go never had. This means that for most marketplace concepts, you can launch your platform and validate your business idea without any coding. 

The biggest improvement, however, is that from now on, you can tap into the developer platform seamlessly. Whenever you realize you need a specific feature or change that is unique to your concept and not available out of the box, you can simply start using Sharetribe's developer platform to add the features you need with code. 

While it could take weeks to move your marketplace from Sharetribe Go to Sharetribe Flex, transitioning from no-code to custom-code mode and making a simple change can now be accomplished in less than an hour. There's no limit to how much you can customize your marketplace with code: if you can imagine a feature or a change, it's possible to build it. You can either write the custom code yourself, following Sharetribe's developer tutorials, or hire a Sharetribe Expert to help you out. 

We realized we needed to combine the best of both worlds. Enter, the new Sharetribe.

And even if you customize your marketplace with code, you can still continue to use all of Sharetribe’s no-code features just as before.

The new Sharetribe is powered by the same battle-tested infrastructure as Flex. It ensures you can grow your marketplace to any size and be certain that your platform will perform. We handle the heavy lifting, from performance to data security, and from software updates to protecting you from DDoS attacks. You can focus on building your business.

Despite all these changes over the past ten years, one thing remains the same: our mission. We help founders create successful online marketplace businesses. 

Whether you're a solo founder with a great marketplace idea, a member of an ambitious startup team looking to build the next unicorn, a founder of a cooperative or a non-profit, or an intrapreneur inside a bigger organization, we are here for you. 

I can’t wait to see what you build with the new Sharetribe!

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