Sharing Economy’s New Kids on the Block: Blockchain and Beauticians, Boats and Baby Strollers, Cars and Campsites
Blockchain can help energize and unlock the sharing economy by making it cheaper to create and operate an online platform. Once such startup Blockchain powered platform, MyBit, is connecting investors to future-proof projects. The company’s vision is to democratize the ownership of machines and its resulting revenue streams instead of letting them fall into the control of centralized financial institutions. The platform will be applicable to drones, self-driving cars, smart homes, autonomous machinery, 3D printers and more.
Belle Cares, an on-demand firm that offers professional beauticians who make house calls, is aiming to solve the problem for some seniors, particularly the housebound or mobility impaired, for whom access to the tools of beautification that most consumer take for granted can be limited. Customers can order up a hairstylist, manicurist or massage therapist through an online appointment system. The firm does plan to expand and continue to work with existing senior and assisted – living centers.
Boatsetter, a peer to peer marketplace for boat rentals, has acquired its Seattle-based rival Boatbound, powering up the South Florida startup’s presence throughout the United States. Like others in the boat-sharing economy, Boatsetter attempts to make the boat rental experience as seamless as booking a room on Airbnb by connecting people seeking rentals with boat owners looking to monetize the time their boats aren’t used. It differentiates itself by giving its users access to a large network of licensed captains as well as a growing roster of high-end boat rentals for yachting, cruising, fishing, or sailing and insurance overages for renters, boat owners, and captains.
In China, the road to convenience is paved by the sharing economy: first there were ride-sharing vehicles, then the bike-sharing boom, and now the debut of shared baby strollers. A firm in Shanghai, Dimeng Xiaoche, has unveiled its first batch of around 500 strollers. Users can rent the yellow-seated strollers, which have a QR code between the handlebars, by downloading the app, and going through mobile registration and real-name authentication.
Tentrr and Hipcamp are 2 new startups brining the sharing economy to the backcountry. Said to be the ‘Airbnb for camping’ they allow people to book fully equipped campsites on private farms and rural homesteads. It’s a really neat thing; it’s a wonderful way to share the land, to get people out by curating campsites, sending out scouts to check out possible campsites for millions of Americans who camp every year.
Peer to peer car sharing is still very small as it’s a big cultural step to share out your car. SnappCar, billed as an ‘Airbnb’ for cars completed an asset purchase of Germany’s number two peer to peer car sharing firm Tamyca – bringing it closer to challenging the European market leader Drivy – and aims to expand to 20 European metropolitan areas, including the UK. Europe’s largest car hire company Europcar also took a 20% stake in Snappcar as part of a strategy to become a global mobility solutions leader.