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Shared economy platforms have changed the way many consumers do business. They have opened up ways for people to operate their own businesses without any upfront cost, and have created more choices for consumers. One of the biggest appealing factors in the sharing economy is their affordability. For consumers, the sharing economy offers more choices at a more competitive rate. This is just one of the reasons why we have seen a rise in shared economy platforms. With that being said, we have to give props where they are due. Let’s take a look at the top 12 pioneers in the sharing economy who made it all possible.

pioneers in sharing economy

Image Credit: Travel Leaders Corporate

12 Sharing Economy Pioneering Companies

There are a few companies that come to mind when you say pioneers in the sharing economy. Without the vision of these companies, we might not be where we are today. Here are some of the pioneers of the sharing economy, some you are probably familiar with, some you may want to check out. 

  1. Uber – You cannot mention shared economy, and not think of Uber. Uber started in San Francisco in 2009. Fast forward 10 years later and Uber is one of the biggest most recognizable ride-sharing apps in the world. Uber is available across the US and around the world.

    pioneers in the sharing economy

    Image Credit: Industry Reports

  2. Lyft – Yet another big name in the sharing economy world, and easily one of the biggest rivals of Uber. Lyft was founded in 2012 and is also based in San Francisco. Lyft provides users with car sharing, scooters, and bicycle sharing in 640 cities across the US and 9 cities in Canada.
  3. Getaround – Similar to ride sharing, Getaround offers peer-to-peer car sharing. Getaround offers an alternative to traditional rental cars and allows car owners the ability to earn extra cash while they aren’t using their car. Also based out of San Francisco, Getaround was founded in 2009. Getaround is available in select cities in the US including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, and Chicago.
  4. Turo – Turo was formerly known as RelayRides has been around since 2010. Like Getaround, Turo allows users to rent cars from car owners. With Turo, cars are available by the hour for by the day. Turo is available across the US, Canada, UK, and Germany.
  5. Airbnb – Airbnb is one of the most popular short term rental platforms that allow people to rent out their entire home or a portion of their home to travelers. It provides travelers with more choices for their stay, at a more affordable price than a traditional hotel. Airbnb was founded in 2008 in San Francisco.
  6. DogVacay – Think of DogVacay as the Airbnb for dogs. Instead of leaving your dog at a kennel, DogVacay allows you to board your canine companion with a like-minded dog owner in your area who will take great care of your dog. Dogvacay offers a more affordable alternative to dog kennels.

    pioneers in the sharing economy

    Image Credit: Little Things Travel

  7. SpinlisterSpinlister allows users to rent outdoor sporting gear like bikes, surfboards, skis, and snowboards. It was founded in New York City in 2011 and is currently available in 63 different countries.
  8. BoatboundBoutbound allows boat owners to share their boats with would be mariners. It connects boat owners with renters across the country. It was founded in 2013.
  9. TaskRabbitTaskRabbit helps you get the random tasks you need done, done. From handwork to errands, TaskRabbit has a network of “Rabbits” that are thoroughly screened and willing to run your errands. It was founded in 2008 and is available in most major US cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York to name a few.

    pioneers in the sharing economy

    Image Credit: TNW

  10. Lending ClubLending Club helps pair borrowers with lenders with their peer-to-peer network. It offers a more affordable alternative to credit cards for borrowers and offers a higher rate of return for lenders than a traditional savings account. It was founded in 2006 and is based out of San Francisco.
  11. Fon – Fon allows you to share some of your Wifi network with others in exchange for free connectivity wherever there is a Fon Spot. There are millions of Fon Spots connected worldwide. Fon was founded in 2005 in Madrid, Spain.
  12. PoshmarkPoshmark operates like an online consignment store. You can buy or sell clothing through the app, and set up virtual closets. It was founded in 2011 and has around 4 million daily sellers and 25 million items for sale.

Up & Coming Shared Economy Platforms To Keep Your Eye On In The Future

These pioneers in the sharing economy have paved the way for others. There are constantly new innovations being made in shared economy. While some might think the markets are saturated, there is plenty of room for new apps to be developed in multiple industries including real estate, health care, special events, travel, and more. Here are some shared economy platforms to keep an eye on.

  • HopSkipDrive – This app provides parents to with a ride-sharing service that is safe for their children. This is a great app for busy parents who have children with active schedules.
  • Splacer – Helps users find a space to rent out for an event or production. For people with unused space, this is a great way to make some extra money and put the space to use.
  • SharedEarthSharedEarth is a great app that allows people to share a portion of their land with someone who will cultivate and garden on the land. The gardener then shares a portion of their crops with the owner.
  • GoFor – Do you have a drone? If you have one you can make some extra money lending your piloting services, if you don’t you can consign here. Drone technology is used for a lot of things these days, from capturing special events to land surveys.
pioneers in the sharing economy

Image Credit: Unleash the Bot

Tools & Resources To Help Manage Multiple Shared Economy Businesses

If you have multiple shared economy businesses going it is important to stay organized. You may have different expenses associated with each, and everything needs to be accounted for. Having a good accounting system in place can really help. Quickbooks and Xero are our two favorite accounting software programs that can help you better manage your shared economy businesses. They allow you to keep track of expenses, reconcile accounts, and track profits. In addition it is really important to keep accurate records of all transactions. If you rent your car out, keep track of the time it is available for rent. The same holds true for short term rentals like Airbnb. The more accurate your records are the better.

pioneers in the sharing economy

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Any income earned from a shared economy site is considered taxable income. And depending on how much you make, may require you to pay estimated taxes on your earnings. It is important to have the right guidance when it comes to these matters, as tax mistakes can be costly, not to mention stressful. To learn more about the tax ramifications of your shared economy business contact the tax experts at Shared Economy CPA.



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