Peer-to-peer marketplaces have been booming, and PwC predicts the market will go from $15 billion in 2013 to $355 billion in 2025.
This means that a lot of marketplaces will be developed in the next years. However, until recently, you didn't have many choices if you wanted to create a marketplace like Airbnb, Blablacar, or Drivy. You either developed an expensive proprietary solution like the incumbents do, or you used a hardly customizable SaaS solution, and that approach isn't scalable.
What happens if your startup can't afford one of these proprietary solutions or you need customized features? You go look for an open source alternative that could open the space for new solutions and modules. Here are four peer-to-peer marketplaces that are working to become the Wordpress or Prestashop of their kind.
Sharetribe is probably the most popular open source peer-to-peer marketplace solution out there. It's designed for individuals, early stage startups, and developers who want to create service, product or rental marketplaces like Airbnb, Etsy, or Craigslist. What I prefer about Sharetribe is its simplicity and speed to set up. It's a fully featured solution supporting multi-language, multi-currency, and listing, category and shipping cost management. View all of the features.
Sharetribe runs on Ruby and MySQL and is licensed under the MIT license. Get the source code on GitHub.
Cocorico is a very powerful solution for in-service and rental marketplaces, such as Airbnb, Blablacar, or Drivy. Unlike Sharetribe, Cocorico is fully specialized in building service-based marketplaces (it doesn’t offer product sales). It's well suited to developers, well-funded entrepreneurs, or larger businesses.
Cocorico was created by Cocolabs for two reasons. Primarily because they couldn't find any suitable open source solution they could use to develop complex marketplaces for their customers, but also because they wanted to get away from the generic SaaS solutions. With Cocorico you get quite a few more advanced features than you could expect from the big players' marketplaces, such as a fully integrated and functional calendar, advanced yield management rules, handling of third-party payments and deferred payments, cancellation management, individually customizable commissions for buyers and sellers, and much more.
If you want to build a rental or service marketplace like Airbnb or Blablacar, it's probably the most rounded solution if you want full control and a solution with some of the most developed modules. It’s rock-solid and has all the required features to scale your platform. Cocorico is currently available from Cocolabs as a custom service and will soon be available as a hosted service.
Cocorico is written in PHP (Symfony) and licensed under the MIT license. Get the source code on GitHub.
Like Sharetribe, Mayocat is aimed at small and medium-sized startups and businesses. This solution offers a great framework to build and customize product marketplaces. It allows you to create and maintain many small e-commerce businesses, like Ebay or Etsy.
46cl started it because of the lack of a simple solution for small businesses to start an e-commerce site or an online marketplace that would bring them together in curated websites. Its features allow you to connect the shops together by offering different lists, cross-shop research of products, and shared carts in the same interface via its APIs. Its other main features include product management, inventory management, shipping management by geographical areas or shipping methods, order management, internationalization management, and CMS functionalities like pages, news, management or attached parts.
Beyourmarket is a solution most suited for enterprise developments that require more complex configurations for their service and rental marketplace à la Airbnb.
Among its pros are that it uses a programming language commonly found in large companies and it has a solid framework to develop marketplaces that can handle large transaction volumes. Its features include a simple user interface, easy marketplace management that allows you to manage users, categories, and the services and products in your marketplace. It also has payment integrations with Stripe. On the downside, the company has discontinued its support, but given the solidity of the solution, the community might find using it as a building block for enterprise solutions interesting.
Beyourmarket is built on the ASP.NET platform and is licensed under the MIT license. Get the source code on GitHub.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Are you using a tool we did not cover that you think should have been mentioned? Leave a comment below, or feel free to share your experience with one of the tools covered.