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This is how to spot the next generation of marketplace winners

Will Orde, an investor at Oxford Capital, argues that the UK is a leading marketplace builder and looks at how we can spot the next generation of winners.

In the technology industry, we are used to particular technologies hogging the limelight. AI, machine learning and blockchain are centre stage at present. However, business models go through hype-cycles too: SaaS, open-source and freemium have all had their time in the sun.

Online marketplaces are yet to bask in glory, despite underpinning some of the world’s most successful online businesses: Alibaba and Amazon to name two leviathans. This surely represents a model that has been short-changed and undervalued, especially in the UK, which has produced many successful marketplace business in recent years. ASOS, Secret Escapes and Zoopla are three businesses that fly the flag proudly for the UK. It is worth stating the obvious here: marketplaces can be super-profitable. Rightmove recorded a 73% EBITDA margin in 2017....