First what is sharing economy?
The sharing economy (also referred to as gig economy) is a new form of economy that leverages digital platforms to facilitate the exchange of goods and services for both financial and non-financial rewards.
The leaders driving the growth of this economy include property rentals services such as Airbnb, and car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The primary benefit of the sharing economy is that it allows to utilize under appreciated assets for the benefit of overall economic growth. It empowers both the producer and the consumer of the service cutting the middleman and improving the pricing and utilization rate of assets.
The sharing economy has seen some tremendous growth in Europe with UK leading the charge.
According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Europe has about 275 companies operating in the sharing Economy. The countries with the most penetration are UK and France. In the middle of the spectrum you see countries like Spain, Germany and Holland. At the bottom of the list are from Sweden, Poland and Italy. UK has the most pro regulation policies that supports sharing economy.
PWC also estimates the growth of the overall sharing economy to go from USD 35 Billion to 600 Billion in just 10 years. While this is something to be celebrated if you are an investor in any companies participating in the sharing economy you might be interested to learn about some upcoming disruptions in the industry.