24 Feb 2020

Defensibility x Scalability = The Marketplace Matrix

In the first part of our marketplace thesis, I explained how we think about the geographic scalability of marketplaces, i.e. we prefer marketplaces where a given unit of supply is accessible to customers across borders as opposed to those where it is restricted to a small local area. We saw that marketplaces with cross-border network effects (e.g. Airbnb), created a lot more value for investors than those with hyperlocal network effects (e.g. Uber). In sports terminology, this is a view of the “offensive” side of the game. But we also need to study the “defensive” side to gauge how well marketplaces can defend themselves from competition and copycats at scale.