A startup who’s platform taps into a $6.7 trillion dollar market

It was a hot, humid day yesterday in Reading, and luckily I had a meeting planned with a stealth startup in a very nicely chilled co-working space in Reading.

The company I met is developing a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace technology platform that will tap into a market estimated to be worth $6.7 trillion dollars.

This enormous market comprises of the incredibly high percentage of B2B transactions that are still dealt with over the phone, over email or on paper, and this company aims to provide the tools needed to allow specialist B2B marketplaces to grow.

Specialist B2B supplies

A majority of business purchases tend to fall within within fairly well defined parameters, for example, a car dealer is likely to be purchasing products related to automobiles and motoring, along with general office supplies. Unlike consumers, who could go online to purchase a replacement headlamp, a new blade for the lawnmower, order groceries or finally get around to signing up for the once-in-a-lifetime balloon flight experience.

Also unlike consumers, the marketplaces for businesses to buy product for their specialist requirements hasn’t really moved ahead, with many of the suppliers simply having web-presence or basic websites with offline purchasing.

Many of these well-known suppliers are specialists in their fields, operating in secondary markets, finding new homes for used equipment. So if you’re in the market for a Diesel Driven Triplex Boost Pump Skid 5000, then you probably know who to turn to, and when you find it on their “web-based stock catalog” your option will be to email or contact them to discuss the sale.

The company’s platform intends to make it easy for established businesses, leaders in their specialist field to move to a fully functional e-commerce platform. Enabling not just on-line purchases, but with eBay-like buy-it-now and auction capabilities, too. They go further, and with a detailed understanding of the B2B ecosystem, their platform extends to negotiating and agreeing transportation and logistics.

Where’s the potential?

I think the platform has very interesting potential, especially in fields I’ve either know for a long time or have only recently discovered, including:

A market place for legacy telecoms hardware: Many mobile networks have ancient equipment in difficult to reach places that is well beyond it’s use-by date, from suppliers that were acquired, then disappeared. I’ve heard first hand how some cell-sites are only still running because of equipment that’s been sourced from grey markets.

Enabling non-tech companies to play alongside tech-savvy competitors: I met a flavour company a few weeks ago that is already trialing this platform to help.

Circular economies: What happens to products, especially IT products, once their primary use has expired is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, as discussed in this article. With more companies looking for revenue opportunities through distribution of used appliances and assets through secondary markets, this platform could be quite valuable there too.

Want to know more?

If this, or any of the other companies we’ve met sound like they could solve your problem, do get in touch.

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Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at InnovationScouts.tech. He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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