Having analyzed the social networking space for about a decade, I was curious on comparing it to the Collaborative Economy space where I'm currently focused fulltime. One way to find some ways to compare are adoption rates, growth rates, and also funding rates. While VCs have often known to be wrong, funding by VCs indicates bullish attitudes based on financial analysis and gut reaction to new markets.
If you want to see the full sheet of funding, advance to the Google Sheet of Collaborative Economy funding, note there are multiple tabs.
To accomplish this comparison, we gathered publicly available information about consumer facing popular social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, and 17 others) to find out how much money a mature market complete with winners, losers, and IPOs has been funded. Next, we gathered public data from funding in the Collaborative Economy (Uber, Airbnb, Indiegogo, and hundreds others) to see what we could find.
A few analysis notes:
- Popular Social Networks have been reported to have been funded $5.4 billion over the last decade. Mostly "consumer" Collaborative Economy startups that enable the sharing of goods, services, food, money, and vehicles, have been funded $6.8 billion
- If you compared, percentage wise, the Collaborative Economy has been funded 126% more than popular social networks.
- This isn't an apples to oranges comparison: There are few fewer social networks (we looked at 20) than collaborative economy startups (we tabled 497), and many social networks who died by the way side lack public data.
- Often funding in early stages is not reported, so it's impossible to ever truly know what the total funding amount is at companies. Often, early seed and angel rounds aren't properly reported.
- While social networks aren't likely to be funded significantly more, I expect that many Collaborative Economy startups are going to receive significant more funding.
- I didn't tally up enterprise social business software funding (community platforms, social media management systems) as there isn't comparable software in the Collaborative Economy ...yet.
This doesn't mean that the Collaborative Economy startups will all succeed, in many cases, markets often only have room for three players -not the dozens of transportation players available. It could also mean that Collaborative Economy companies are more resource intensive to lift off the ground. It does mean that investors, many who funded social networks, are bullish on this next phase of P2P sharing.