The term Marketplace refers to a broad concept of online sales. On this type of platform, products from different sellers are advertised, offering the customer a wide range of options. In other words, a marketplace is a platform that provides products and services from numerous sellers, which can be purchased by various customers with specific demands.
Three types of companies can be distinguished in this sector: those that focus on products, such as Amazon; others that focus on offering services, such as Uber; and finally, those that combine both, such as DoorDash, which offers products (food) and services (delivery).
On the other hand, the term marketplace should not be confused with e-commerce. The main difference between the two is that the first is a platform where third-party sellers converge thanks to the website owner. The e-commerce website, however, is an online store where a certain brand sells its own products on its website. In addition, it should be noted that a marketplace can sell its own products, as does the abovementioned Amazon. This means that a marketplace can encompass an e-commerce. Nike's online store is a perfect example of e-commerce.
Scope and coverage of the study
This market study covers 9751 companies worldwide labelled within the category "Marketplace". All data on companies, acquisitions and financing rounds were extracted on March 3, 2021. Deals, rounds and companies founded after this date have not been included..
Main Investment Trends
This graph shows the evolution of the companies created in the sector during the last 7 years. Although a negative trend can be observed, it does not detract from the fact that the numbers are very high. The year 2015 stands out with a total of 1168 companies created. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning the year 2020, which is an atypical one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the second graph shows the evolution over the last 10 years of the number of rounds carried out in the sector (line) and the amount raised (columns) per year. It is remarkable the year 2020 which, despite presenting a lower number of rounds than 2019, is the second year with the second highest amount of funds raised only behind 2018, when $15.5 billion was raised. This phenomenon has its cause in giant rounds, such as the one carried out by Airbnb, which made one of 2 billion dollars, or another by Amazon Seller Services in which figures close to that amount were handled.
In the following graph we can observe the number of acquisitions (bars) and the median price (line) made in the last 5 years. The year 2016 was the period in which there were more movements in terms of acquisitions in the marketplace sector, with companies belonging to the sector assuming the role of acquirer. Movements, meanwhile, of great magnitude, such as the acquisition of Ticketbis by eBay, for an amount of 165 million dollars. Ticketbis is a Spanish platform dedicated to the purchase and resale of tickets for different shows. Also noteworthy is the acquisition of eBay Clasiffieds Group by Adevinta in 2020, for a total amount of 9.2 billion dollars.
Finally, in the last table we can see the latest IPOs in the sector, highlighting the two with the highest value, being those of leading companies such as the well-known Airbnb and Lu.com, the giant of the Chinese online financial market.
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