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  • Writer's pictureMarina Planas

Takeaways and Highlights of The Marketplace Conference

1th & 2nd December 2020

4 Strategies to make the most out of a Crisis

Speakers: @JeroenArts Associate Partner @Speedinvest @JoergGerbig, Co-Founder & COO @JustEatTakeaway @MathiasOckenfels, General Partner @Speedinvest

  1. Support your base: increase flexibility without hurting your suppliers

  2. Leverage the crisis as an opportunity to increase market share

  3. Turn emergency pivots into long-term business model extensions

  4. Leverage the crisis as an opportunity to increase digital adoption: Provide free tech infrastructure to lock-in market

What Early-Stage Investors Look for in Marketplace Investments

Moderator: @AlGuerrero Managing Director @SiliconValleyBank

Speakers: @DanielHoffer Managing Director @AutotechVentures @AnnMiura-Ko General Partner @Floodgate

- Need to be able to sell a story: the company is going to change the world and have an impact

- In the Seed stage, the team and the product-market fit are the most important things

- How early to engage with investors to build a relationship? It's like a marriage. Make to be sure is the right partner: style, chemical

Growth Lessons From India’s Largest B2B Wholesale Market

Moderator: @HansTung Managing Partner @GGVCapital

Speaker: @VaibhavGupta Co-Founder @udaan

- Since 2015 mobile internet change how business is made because of its massive access

- Revenue vs GMV: Establish the potential and dimension of the market before focusing on revenue

Once You've Nailed It, Ideas on How to Scale It

Speaker: @EdBaker Investor & Entrepreneur @Whoop @Uber @Facebook

- Find your product-market fit first

- Optimize your viral loop: See-->Signup-->Use-->Share-->See

- Remove Barriers (price, etc.)

- Internationalize your product

- Focus on Retention at scale: Growth = Acquisition - Churn + Re-engagement

From Good to Great: How to Ace Your Marketplace Fundraise

Speakers: @Philip Specht Principal @SpeedinvestNetworkEffects @JustinDaRosa Vice President @BatteryVentures


-Market Size & Monetization Potential: From Focus on GMV to Asses gross margin potential

-Competitor Analysis: From analysis on two axes to detailed competitive analysis

-Market Research: Quoting selective study results to comprehensive market insights

-Customer and expert insights: From simple customer survey to Interview (audio)-transcripts

-Achievements & Product Validation: From MVP First screenshots to systematic user-centric testing

-Network Effects: From a world in this topic to show an in-depth understanding of network effects play.

-Forecast: From long term revenue forecast to detailed 18-month budget

- Relevant KPIs: # waitlisted users, # sign-ups, relevant actions taken (profiles created), engagement/repeat rates of beta-testers, pilot agreements, the pipeline of advanced conversations


- Product-Market Fit: Engagement, repeat rates, stickiness.

-Use #COHORTS for Active Customers, Number of orders, and Average Order Value, Revenue retention, etc.

Growth Stage

Growth at scale and efficiency

- # COHORTS segmentation

-S hare of wallet tells how vital you are becoming on both the demand and supply sides. Assess share of wallet = actual demand / potential demand of the customer

-Growth efficiency metrics: LTV/CAC Customer Acquisition Cost: fully-loaded number including salaries, overhead, tools, etc.; Include non-media costs such as referral costs, free trials, etc.; Include supply-side acquisition costs; Distinguish between paid CAC vs blended CAC, Look at numbers by channel

How to Monetize Your Marketplace Without Alienating Users?

Speaker: @SameerSingh and Advisor @TheNTWK

- Startups built on network effects are more complex to monetize than those with traditional business models

- Depend on the nature of the marketplace you will determine who you charge to

- On marketplaces, demand-supply relationships are primarily governed by 2 factors: Transaction complexity and degree of asymmetry.

Monetization types:

1. Commission (or interaction taxes): Enable transaction and take a cut.

2.Paywallet Marketplaces: charge one side for access to the marketplace.

3.Premium Network Tier: Enhanced matching opportunities for a fee.

4.Advertising: Tricky balancing act with default monetization option.

5. Complimentary Product: Monetize standalone product that enhances the marketplace's value proposition

6. Derived Product: Rarely used by marketplaces

- Monetization constraints can be changed by layering new forms of network effects

How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business

Speaker: @LennyRachitsky Investor and Advisor former @Airbnb

Phase 1:Cracking the chicken and egg problem

1. Constrain: Either by Geography or Category

2. Concentrate: Decide to concentrate on one side (supply or demand) Supply is generally the King

3.Grow initial Supply tactics:

-Top 3 early supply-growth levers (Direct sales, Piggy-backing, Referrals)

-Not major early supply-growth levers (Performance marketing, SEO)

4. Get initial demand:

-Top 3 early demand-growth levers (Word of mouth, Supply driving your demand, SEO)

-Not major early demand-growth levers (Sales, Referrals)

Phase 2: Scale your marketplace

1.Supply vs. demand constrained

2.Scale growth levers: Performance marketing, Expanding geographically, Conversion (top 3)

3.Maintain quality: Standards + penalties, Manually onboard, Reviews (top 3)

4.What would you do differently: more focus, more aggressive, Think longer-term (top 3)

Hierarchy of Marketplaces

Speaker: @SaraTavel General Partner @Benchmark

  1. Focus: Minimum Viable Happyness, not grow. End to end transaction experience > Focus on a constrained problem, product, and policy. How to measure? #COHORTS each process of your marketplace

  2. Tip: Tipping is when your network effects come alive when your flywheel spinning faster. Focus on identifying the loops! 6 obstacles to tipping the market: Competition, fragmentation, Disequilibrium between both sides, Regulation, Homogeneity of the buyer, Inability to corner the buyer side

  3. Dominate: Become #1 by a wide margin, the bigger you are than the #2, the less you need to subsidize the growth and more value you are able to create and capture

- Never rest on your laurels

4 Questions Every Marketplace Needs to Answer

Speaker: @JonathanGolden Partner @NEA

Four key factors shape every marketplace:

  1. Network Effects: Global network effects businesses tend to grow more organically and root density network effects businesses tend to grow supply in more concentrated ways

  2. Type of Supply: Heterogeneous supply creates a competitive moat but increases the cognitive load on the demand side creating a search marketplace. Homogeneous marketplaces offer the same supply making it easier to replicate the business. A huge benefit is that decreases the cognitive load on the demand side, creating a simpler transactional experience

  3. Two-sided Incentives: Avoid market-breakage by creating Trust ( Identity Verification, Reviews, Assurance) and Convenience (Payments, Messaging, Transactions)

  4. Size & Frequency of interaction: Making sure that transaction volume is thriving is more important to a new marketplace than getting the largest take-rate

Reimagining the Customer Experience for a New World

Speaker: @SidSuri Head of Marketing @Sendbird

- Community drives commerce

- Conversation: Chat id the new center of the transaction

- Live commerce: instead of static

The State of Marketplaces Report

Speaker: @RogerLee General Partner @BatteryVentures

A new paradigm brings new possibilities, COVID-19 effects:

(+) Digital Health: Fast-tracked regulatory and policy change

(+) Future of work: Accelerated the rise of the freelancer

(+) EdTech: Expedited the adoption of digital tools that supplement offline behavior

(+) E-commerce: Highlighted the efficiency of online shopping for all goods

(+) Digital Entertainment: Unlocked new use cases

(-) Travel: Suspended flights and border closures have halted travel overnight

(-) Events & Ticketing: Mandated quarantine canceled, rescheduled, and modified live events

As a new status quo is established, what’s important to understand and prioritize?

1. Efficiency is Always Relevant: “Growth at all costs” mentality is done, and efficiency is king, The Rule of 40: Efficiency drives superior returns.

2.Prepare Your Workforce For the New Normal: Ensure your employees have the right skills and willingness to embrace change

3. Ensure You’re Indexed to the Right Behavioral Trends: Consumers are embracing new behavior and habits – many of which will endure after COVID-19

Slice and the Future of Food Delivery

Moderator: @FrabriceGrinda, Founding Partner @FJLabs

Speaker: @IlirSela, Founder & CEO @Slice

- Digital transformation is still in an Early Stage in the food industry

- Less than 10% of pizza delivery and pick up is digital today

- Take existing customers and make them more valuable, make them spend more

Making European Banking Truly Crossborder: Lessons From Building a Marketplace for Deposits

Speaker: @VerenaThaler - Head of Strategy & Business Development @Raisin

Barriers to overcome:

- Barriers to digital providers

- Barriers to cross-border services

- EU domicile as a disadvantage

Learnings from running a European Marketplace:

- Tackle big markets and go for significant, quantifiable impact

- Bring transparency and efficiency to both sides of the market

- Do not be afraid!

- Go fo pan-European solutions early on

- Engage in discussions and educate the politicians/regulators

How to Build a Product Strategy That Will Make You Win (Your Markets & Investors)

Speaker: @MirjamTecht - Early Stage Marketplace Investor

Four Elements of a winning Product Strategy:

1. Strong Product Vision

- Aspirational Statement

-What is the Ultimate Goal?

-Think long term

- Be specific

2. Deep Customer Insight

-Who is your customer and who is not

-What is the most relevant problem they have (customer journey mapping)

-How can you solve it 10x better for them?

-How will their reality change?

3. KPIs

-Prioritized list of goals and define success metrics

-Make them specific

-Base product decisions on things you can measure

4. Roadmap

-Roadmap communicates the WHY behind what you are building

-It is a Guiding Visualization on the execution of your strategy

-Communicates direction and progress

-Detailed backlog with initiatives for each respective theme

Key takeaways:

  1. Product strategy is the link between your product vision and your tactics. It will provide guidance on what problem to focus on.

  2. Obsess about customer insight and establish insight-driven decision making.

  3. Tie product roadmaps to goals and your desired outcome.

Scaling a Hyper-Local Marketplace: Lessons Learned and Advice for Fellow Founders

Moderator: @CourtneyChow, Investor @BatteryVentures

Speaker: @ChristianHülsewig , Founder & CEO @Schüttflix

- As a customer is hard to figure out who the right players are and which is the optimum supplier

- This is the decade of B2B marketplaces

- Continuously listen to your customer and ask them for feedback

What Growth-Stage Investors Look for in Marketplace Investments

Moderator: @AndyKelly - Managing Director @JPMorgan

Speakers: @CarolinaBrochado - Partner @EQT-Growth

@MayaNoeth - Partner @Accel

How to identify a marketplace is worth investing in:

- Accelerating GMV growth as a company gets to scale

- Analyse conversion funnel from top to bottom

- Engagement on both sides of the marketplace

- Try to replicate something that is working in different markets

Transforming From B2C to B2B to a Three-Sided Marketplace

Speaker: @DerkRoodhuyzen - Founder & CEO @Fixico

- The main challenge is being there at the right time

- Why is B2B “easier” to build:

  1. High volumes

  2. Engagement and retention

  3. Low churn

  4. Higher take rate

  5. Supply partner onboarding

  6. International expansion model

How to Build a Performance Culture for Tech Teams

Speaker: @MatthiasLaug - Co-Founder & CTO @TIERMobility

- KPIs have a causal correlation, so you can’t cheat them! Lead Time, Mean time to recovery, Deployment Frequency, Change Fail Percentage.

- Value Stream is a connection of actions (company or customer) and outcomes

Four disciplines of execution:

  1. Focus on the wildly important goal

  2. Act on the lead measures

  3. Keep a score

  4. Weekly cadence

Diary of a CEO: How to Scale Yourself and Your Team

Speaker: @SukhinderSinghCassidy - Founder & Chairman @theBoardlist

- Which role to play in each stage of the company

- Navigate in all areas

- See the forest and the trees

- Which is your trademark: values,

- From author to publisher

How to Achieve Over 50% Diversity at a Hyper-Growth Company

Speaker: @CharlesKuykendoll - Director of Talent Acquisition @PlayVS

- Hire a diverse recruitment team

- Ensure diverse representation in the interview process

- Ensure a diverse slate

The Future of Networking

Moderator: @NicoleQuinn - Partner @LightspeedVenturePartners

Speaker: @VlasNovakovski - Founder & CEO @Lunchclub

- Actual consumer behaviors will stick after the pandemic

- Know as much as possible each of your users

Walking the Tightrope: Tips for Building Trust on Both Sides of Your Marketplace

Speaker: @MichelleDavey - CEO & Co-Founder @Wheel

Trust is the key ingredient for building and scaling a healthy marketplace

How to build trust:

  1. Add value outside of monetary gain

  2. Create a feeling of exclusivity

  3. Build confidence with unique expertise

  4. Set expectations early and often

How to measure trust: Churn, Retention, #COHORTS, Feedback from both sides

How to Accelerate Growth Through M&A

Moderator: @LucaBocchio - Partner @Accel

Speaker: @DavidNothacker - Co-Founder @Sennder

- Transactions always last longer than expected and cultural integration is key to success

- Invest time in people and communication (over-communicate if necessary)

- Build a team dedicated to the merge

Set priorities and focus on them

Scaling In Emerging Markets

Speakers: @MostafaKandil- Founder & CEO @Swvl

@SujayTyle - Co-Founder @FrontierCarGroup

- Emerging markets requires massive scale and operations with a very low average ticket

- Importance of the company values

- Build a company centered around numbers and data

Marketplace Growth Tactics

Speaker: @JamesCurrier - General Partner @NFX

  1. Figure out which side matter and focus: Focus on the "White Hot Center" Group on the important side. Find the Channel to Them

  2. Lock in one side with SaaS to manage the timing

  3. Viral growth is hard so get really good at buying traffic: paid traffic matters more raise more capital.

  4. A/B Testing still rules this needs to be Company DNA level: onboarding, Retention loops, Viral loops, Monetization for both sides: Supply and Demand

  5. #COHORT analysis Company DNA Level

  6. CEO can't delegate growth

  7. Look for 100% improvement not 10%

  1. Figure out which side matter and focus: Focus on the "White Hot Center" Group on the important side. Find the Channel to Them

  2. Lock in one side with SaaS to manage the timing

  3. Viral growth is hard so get really good at buying traffic: paid traffic matters more raise more capital.

4. A/B Testing still rules this needs to be Company DNA level: onboarding, Retention loops, Viral loops, Monetization for both sides: Supply and Demand

5. #COHORT analysis Company DNA Level

6. Get enough traffic to get data

7. CEO can't delegate growth

8. Look for 1000% improvement, not 10%


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