The internet holds considerable potential for many, but not for those who lack the minimum tech knowledge to unlock the power. For those interested in creating their own marketplace, for whatever purpose, Finnish startup Sharetribe believes that it has an answer.
One of the nicer aspects of this service is that it is not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Whether users are aiming to create a peer-to-peer marketplace, sell a product, offer a service, or something else, there are options. The concept is that, while you could hire someone else to build a marketplace for you, this service aims to considerably cut down on time by allowing users to fill out forms and get setup in less than a minute.
It is not the cheapest option, however. Even at the low end, Sharetribe represents a pricy option, with the most basic plan setting users back $39/month and the most expensive plan costing $239/month.
Antti Virolainen, the startup’s COO, tells me that the company initially raised 40K through a grant from Tekes, the Finnish government’s investment arm, and 30K by participating in the program at Start-Up Chile, interestingly enough. They followed that up with 120K from Reaktor Polte and Tekes, again. Then, a couple of weeks ago, they made a big splash at the SLUSH conference when they announced that they have pulled in $1 million from Lifeline Ventures, as well as prior investors.
The startup is reluctant to reveal their total number of users at the moment, but Virolainen would tell me that more than 1,000 trial marketplaces were created after SLUSH.
Virolainen tells me that he and the other co-founders launched the company back in 2011, but it was not headed in the same direction as it is now. Namely, they were then aiming to provide an internal marketplace to universities, companies, and other organizations. Virolainen says that this was a result of the team studying and working as researchers at Aalto University from 2008-11 But, in 2013, they decided that that was not working out too well for them and they pivoted towards the current direction.