The collaborative economy is moving forward in Spain supported by its more social approach
A conference on collaborative economy in Spain was held with Uber, MyTwinPlace, EatWith and Arboribus as part of the programme of events to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. The common theme through all of the presentations was that the collaborative economy has become an established business model with a huge future and social values as its best asset.
On 23rd February we brought together Leire Laboreo, Country Manager of EatWith for Spain; Jean-Noël Saunier, CEO and co-founder of MyTwinPlace; Josep Nebot, co-founder of Arboribus, and Nadia Védrunes, EMEA Talent&Mobility Lead at Uber, to discuss the challenges facing the collaborative economy in Spain.
Leire Laboreo from EatWith began the conference by stating that “despite being an online platform, we want to make the experience social and personal”. In this regard, she emphasised that “collaborative economy implies a change in the commercial exchange to which we have become accustomed, it is something more experiential”.
EatWith is a platform through which cooking professionals and aficionados alike can offer meals at their homes and share their food and passion for cooking in a more intimate and direct way. In her speech Laboreo emphasised that “the culture of a country is the most important part of the collaborative economy; culture is our user experience”. On the future of the collaborative economy she noted that “this type of consumption is here to stay and what needs to be understood is why people like it and its overall scope”.
Accommodation is one of the sectors in which this type of exchange has proliferated. MyTwinPlace is a good example of a 100% collaborative way of traveling using a home exchange service that allows users to save money. Jean-Noël Saunier explained in the second conference that “home exchange through MyTwinPlace doesn’t entail any economic expenditure, although there is a payment for travel insurance. In exchange for leaving your home you receive virtual coins that you can use to stay at other people’s houses”.
Like Leire Laboreo, he insisted that “the importance of human relationships within this type of platform which, despite being launched for cost-saving purposes, sees its users return because of the human relationship that is established due to hosts being as satisfied (9.7/10) with the experience as guests”. Jean-Noël Saunier said that he views the future of collaborative economy with optimism, “although the costs of attracting users when launching a business on the network are very high and we also have to pay taxes like other businesses”.
The third speaker was Josep Nebot from Arboribus, a crowd lending platform through which investments in loans to previously analysed and selected companies can be made. It is an alternative to traditional banking that allows people to choose which companies they lend money to, how much they lend and under what conditions.
Nebot stressed that “it is a very transparent model as an increasing number of investors want to control their investments. When investing in an investment fund, you probably do not know which companies you are financing. Many companies want to try us for the sole reason that we are not a bank, although we are supervised by the Bank of Spain”.
He highlighted the idea that “the magic of collaborative economy is that small investors can participate in the same way as large investors, receive the same services and generate the same profitability”. Regarding the evolution of this sector, Nebot explained that “the crowd lending growth curves in Europe are very important and show that this model has achieved an excellent level of acceptance”.
The conference concluded with Nadia Védrunes from Uber who underlined the fact that private transportation currently has 12,000 drivers in 500 cities in 70 countries. She explained that “as with most businesses based on collaborative economy, Uber was launched to meet a demand from the population, an everyday problem, such as not being able to find a taxi on a cold night in Paris”.
The Uber representative agreed with the other speakers about the social value of this service that “makes transportation easier for the population, connects people with the city and its public transportation, and moves the most remote areas of a city closer to the centre”.
She also highlighted that “positive phenomena have occurred in cities like London or Paris, such as a reduction in pollution and an increase of pedestrianised areas, which were not part of Uber’s initial goals but have occurred as a direct consequence of its implementation and popular acceptance”.
More information about the conferences and the speakers can be found at the following website (in Spanish): http://www.tbs-education.es/es/20-years/economia-colaborativa-donde-estan-los-limites