a16z’s ranking of 2020’s biggest marketplace platforms say a lot about the state of the world

a16z’s new report highlights some of the biggest movers and shakers in the marketplace platform space.


March 31, 2021

If a hot new tech company isn’t backed by Andreessen Horowitz (“a16z”), is it really a hot new tech company?

The venture capital firm, which holds some $16.6B in assets, recently released its Marketplace 100 — a ranking of 2020’s biggest and brightest consumer-facing startups.

A few findings that made us do double takes:

  • Instacart accounted for 71.5% of the entire list’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value, or the total dollar volume of transactions)
  • Edtech company Outschool saw the biggest leap in the rankings (+59 spots)
  • Good Dog’s breeder marketplace saw the 2nd-fastest year-over-year growth
  • The cannabis and collectibles categories saw Q4 GMV increase 35% and ~70%, respectively

The pandemic stung some marketplaces but boosted others

As we laid low at home, our behaviors changed and some marketplace categories experienced big drops: child care (-61%), ticketing (-52%), and office spaces (-30%).

But when COVID pushed us to get outside, engage in new ways online, and spend carefully, others got a rankings boost, including celebrity connector Cameo (+36), outdoor stay platform Hipcamp (+33), and wholesale retailer Faire (+35).

Trends shifted seasonally, too

  • In Q1, child care and ticket categories saw ~70% of their total 2020 spend
  • In Q2, celebrity engagement and cannabis delivery categories saw GMV jump 250% and 400%
  • In Q3, people focused on their homes, with furniture and moving marketplaces seeing 100% and 200% increases in GMV
  • In Q4, we went shopping, with wholesale spending up 350% compared to Q1

Per the a16z team, post-pandemic behavioral shifts could make for an equally juicy report come this time next year.

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