Startups in Sharing Economy

In the past decade, a new and exciting area in the world of business in Eastern Asia has opened up: The Sharing Industry, also known as the Collaborative Consumption Economy. These companies begin with the simple premise that individuals can turn their personal possessions and expertise into ready sources of cash by performing certain functions for a decentralized company. This can come in many forms, whether its using one’s free time to work as a tour guide or hiring out one’s personal vehicle for use by others. The result, however, is big benefits for everyone involved–as has been reported by and others, total revenue gained by those participating in this collaborative economy is expected to grow by 25% in next year alone!

1. WithLocals

WL-icon-v1One of the fastest growing startups, WithLocals’ business model is concentrated around the idea that regular families in SouthEast Asia can work as tour guides to provide a more authentic travel experience. By taking tourists from around the globe into their homes, sharing authentic local cuisine with them, and showing them to various attractions, they can make themselves a tidy profit while meeting new people from around the globe. This is also better for the local economy, which benefits immensely from having two sources of tourism income.

2. Triip

triip-vietnamA similar service to WithLocals, Triip adds a further layer to the model by allowing individuals to create virtual “tour packages” which can be browsed by those looking for a unique holiday. Proponents say that this will result in greater variety and less cost, while those less enthuzed at the prospect worry that the lack of vetting will result in poor tours.


3. MyTeksi

MyTeksiAccording to NBC News, Malaysia is home to the worst professional taxi drivers in the world, due to a general taxi culture of what many foreigners view as discourtesy. Formerly known as MyTeksi (but now renamed to GrabTaxi) is aiming to change this image by putting average Malaysians behind the wheel, and generally encouraging a friendly and open exchange of conversation between driver and passenger.