The Changing Balance Between Experiences And Ownership: These Startups Enable It

Across society there is an increasing trend of experiences eclipsing that of owning material goods. We’re seeing this trend increasingly in action around the globe.

Some articles (U.S.News via Yahoo / Fast Company / NPR) have explained why millennials, for example, are choosing to live for experiences and less for ‘things’ (or at least the ownership of things). If and when they do buy things… there is a trend to buy things that have stories behind them and things that are longer-lasting. While the generational explanation helps explain an increase in some services and products, other articles simply point to economic stagnation as a main catalyst for the growth of the sharing economy.Economic concerns have also affected the luxury goods demand from Russia and China.

In addition to generational trends and economic circumstances, increasingly popular sociological movements like the tiny-house movement and the minimalism movement are promoting a simplified life that focuses on doing vs owning – and if you do own, have it be something that you’re likely to get value out of for a while (thus forcing a view towards higher quality affordable goods that don’t make you feel like they have designed obsolescence nor are about showing off).

Taking these trends into consideration, at Seedcamp we’re bullish on startups that bring experiences, meaning, convenience, and quality durable products to the market and/or allow for people to share products they own (enabled by tech to help them scale).

Below, is a list of Seedcamp companies that enable and participate in this trend:

PropertyPartner – Democratising investment in buy-to-let property at the click of a button
Try.com – Try clothes at home for free from any online store
Crashpadder (acquired by Airbnb: listen to the podcast) – Matching travellers to local hosts through shared interests
24 Symbols – A subscription service to read digital books on the internet
Divido – Consumer finance for online merchants
Fishbrain – A mobile app and social network for fishermen wishing to share and connect with other fishermen
BorrowMyDoggy – Find great local friends for your doggy
Teleport – Search Engine for Digital Nomads
Love & Robots – An online gift shop where you can buy 3d printed or customisable products
Hole19 – An app that helps you analyse your game and your golf statistics
Hype – Yelp + Timeout for spontaneous mobile generation
Lineup – The largest network of ‘what’s on’ guides in the UK
Incrediblue – An award-winning, online platform for unforgettable boating holidays
ByeBuy – Unlimited access to your favourite products. Pay-as-you-go ecommerce
Car Quids – Connecting brands with unique, targeted outdoor advertising spaces
Wriggle – Connecting users with unsold spaces at local food, drink & entertainment businesses at a discounted price
Krak – A skateboarding studio that aims to make the world a huge skatepark
Wanna – Home for parents, where they can buy and sell products and services locally

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for a great reflection, Carlos. At 24symbols you know we’ve always talked about this trend of preferring consumption vs content ownership. There will always be “stuff” we want to own as we are humans after all, but we will be more cautious about what to keep and what to just “cloud-ify” from day 1.