Sharing economy could be worth $40 billion by 2022

Juniper Research‘s latest attempt to quantify the so-called sharing economy sees it place a value on the sector of $40.2 billion by 2022, compared with this year’s $18.6 billion.

The valuation is based on the revenues it estimates comes through to the platform providers.

Airbnb is inevitably highlighted as the most significant player in what Juniper calls the shared private space sector (as opposed to businesses such as WeWork which are part of the shared corporate space).

Juniper estimates that Airbnb will rent out 5.3 million properties this year. While Airbnb is the most obvious example of shared private space, it is worth noting that there are other businesses – Expedia Inc’s HomeAway and China’s for starters – which are not mentioned in the report despite operating in the same sector as Airbnb.

Elsewhere, Uber is highlighted as the most significant player in the shared transport sector, although the existence of Blablacar, Lyft, Didi Chuxing, Ola and Grab is acknowledged.

The business model for Airbnb and Uber is questioned, to an extent, by the report. It notes that for Airbnb consumers bookings can be cancelled while hosts run the risk of having their property damaged. The headwinds for Uber are many, with regulations proving the strongest (although, again, the report doesn’t talk about Airbnb’s regulatory run-ins).

A large proportion of the sharing economy revenues comes from “shared logistics” – as in, delivery services such as Deliveroo. And by region, North America will account for half the 2022 revenues.

The so-called sharing economy is growing, as is the reports and research industry surrounding it. Juniper looked at the sector in May16 and tipped it to be worth more than $20 billion by 2020.

Around the same time, PwC – the accountancy giant formerly known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers – thought that the sharing economy – as it defines it – would generate £125 billion-worth of transactions in the UK alone by 2025. Those transaction would generate UK revenues for the platform providers of £18 billion.

So while it is clear that the sharing economy has a big global footprint, driven by strong consumer demand with technology as the enabler, what is less clear is a definition of the sector. Amazon Prime, mentioned by Juniper, has some sharing economy traits as it employs shared logistics principles by using freelance delivery firms, while including Etsy’s CEO as one of the sharing economy movers and shakers is another stretch.

Perhaps the research and reports industry needs to get a clearer grasp about what comprises the s0-called sharing economy in order to give the projections some context.

NB Image by BigStock.


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