Heavily-Regulated Industries Prime for Disruption, Finds Silicon Valley Bank Survey

Heavily-regulated industries such as healthcare and finance are seen as prime targets for disruption by marketplace innovators, according to a survey released today by Silicon Valley Bank. The Marketplace Disruption Survey found that just over half of participants said the healthcare and finance industries (25 percent and 26 percent, respectively) were most likely to see shakeups based on the online marketplace model.

The survey was conducted at Silicon Valley Bank’s Marketplace Mashup on October 14 in New York City. Nearly 100 marketplace founders, venture capital and private equity investors and industry veterans from around the world came together at the exclusive event. Participants included Airbnb, Uber, oDesk and Andreessen Horowitz, among many others. The Mashup is part of SVB’s effort to engage and connect founders and CEOs with industry visionaries on topics related to the future of the innovation economy.

“Marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb are so successful because their innovations addressed frustrating issues for consumers in industries that were desperate for change,” said Shai Goldman, Managing Director for Silicon Valley Bank in New York City and host of the one-day, invite-only event. “It’s no surprise that disruptive thinkers see significant opportunity within healthcare and finance marketplaces next. The trend toward new vertical marketplaces and expansion based on mobile adoption will continue to change how we access and consume these types of services.”

“Despite a fuzzy definition of the word ‘marketplace,’ and the variety of businesses that exist in this category, it is clear that they are going to increase in number. They’re resilient and antifragile,” said Marketplace panelist and Haystack Fund investor Semil Shah. “I see four types of businesses that could be classified as a marketplace: pure marketplaces connecting buyers and sellers directly, curated marketplaces that vet providers on the buyers’ behalf, businesses with marketplace dynamics like metered pricing, and marketplaces with subscription services. It’s an evolving area with serious growth potential, when you consider the large industries these companies could disrupt.”

The survey examined opportunities and hurdles that marketplace insiders see as they grow their businesses, finding that more than half (51 percent) of marketplace founders see balancing supply and demand as their greatest issue. Another 30 percent of respondents pointed to establishing trust with their users as an issue. Just seven percent of participants pointed to regulatory hurdles as a barrier to success and even fewer said that access to financing was an issue. Sixty-three percent of marketplace founders and executives do not plan to accept bitcoin, according to the respondents.

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