While B2B eCommerce has been booming for some time now, a subtrend has captured the attention of the B2B world: B2B marketplaces. In a survey conducted by Divante, marketplaces were believed to be to be the biggest development in the B2B world in 2021. Another report by Gartner estimates that at least 70% of enterprise marketplaces will serve B2B transactions by 2023. Europe is mirroring this trend. From a mere 20 B2B marketplaces in 2010, the number has since risen to 300 marketplaces, with a combined funding of over €3 billion and counting. Within this growing B2B marketplace landscape in Europe, there are a few prominent and successful marketplaces to note.
Products sold online have to look nice to sell. eCommerce store owners hence require quality photos of their listings to boost their sales. Founded in France, Meero caters to this specific market need. First and foremost, Meero provides a marketplace platform that links up photographers to clients such as eCommerce store owners that require professional photographs taken. On the side, Meero also has a technological solution that has greatly enhanced photo editing. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Meero’s solution cuts the time required for professional post-processing (which usually takes hours or days) to mere seconds.
The popularity of Meero is evident through the funding it has raised thus far. In June 2019, Meero announced a Series C round of funding totalling US$230 million. Beyond the absolute number, this has been France’s largest Series C funding to date. In terms of scale, Meero is also not to be belittled. As of 2019, Meero has 31,000 clients in 100 countries and 58,000 photographers on their marketplace platform. Their staff number at 600 people sprawled across 5 different offices. Being among French companies with the largest venture valuations, Meero is a must know B2B marketplace.
TravelPerk was set up in 2015 in Barcelona by Avi Meir and team with the aim of increasing the convenience and lowering the costs of business travel, which has a significant market size of USD1.5 trillion. Many companies immediately saw value in their service of disintermediation through removing the need for a travel agent, resulting in TravelPerk’s astounding growth over the past years. Between 2017 to 2018, TravelPerk has increased its revenue by an average of 700%, with its client base growing to more than 1,000 companies. At the same time, it has tripled the size of its team. In 2019, TravelPerk even launched a partnership with the second largest airline in Europe, Lufthansa. Being at the top of the 1000 fastest growing SaaS companies in 2019 signifies the huge growth potential of the business.
Since then, TravelPerk has raised huge amounts in the Series C funding round, with a total of US$104 million. The portfolios of their investors include other renown companies in tech, such as Slack, Trello, Twitter and Deliveroo. Just this month, they have even expanded into the US market through an acquisition of their competitor, Next Travel, as part of crisis consolidation during COVID-19. Clearly however, the COVID-19 pandemic and slowdown of air travel has not stopped TravelPerk from making gains. They definitely belong to the top B2B marketplaces in Europe.
Founded in 2015, Scoutbee is a B2B marketplace that targets goods procurement and the supply chain. More specifically, they aim to speed up a company’s search for suppliers by utilising Big Data and AI. They have since successfully shortened a procurement process of 2 to 3 weeks to a mere 2 days. What is more remarkable is the reason they were able to do this: they have fundamentally mapped out the world’s global manufacturing supply chain.
A clear sign that Scoutbee is one of the top B2B marketplaces is how its solution has already been utilised by the likes of big brands, like Audi and Airbus. Like TravelPerk, it has also obtained a sizable amount of funding for its revolutionary solution. In early last year, following a Series B funding of $60 million led by Atomico, Scoutbee officially brought its total funding to a whopping $76 million. This also led to robust plans to scale up their staff numbers by 100, across various cities by the end of 2020.
Amidst COVID-19, Scoutbee has managed to provide even more value to the ecosystem. Through utilisation of their AI solution, they were able to create a free tool that could rapidly link NGOs, public bodies, local and national governments and healthcare providers up with suppliers of pharmaceutical products and supplies. Given its ambitious aims to save businesses a total of $10 billion a year by 2021, Scoutbee is definitely a key B2B Marketplace to watch.
Sennder is a leading digital road freight forwarder in Europe, and their marketplace focuses on matching Carriers to Shippers. Founded in 2015 by David Nothacker, Julius Köhler and Nicolaus Schefenacker, Sennder has come a long way since. In 2017, Sennder entered into a partnership with renown heavy vehicle manufacturer, Scania, which culminated in an “eight digit Euro” investment in Sennder. In 2020, it paved its way for dominance of the European freight industry, through a merger with French competitor Everoad, and the complete acquisition of the European operations of Uber Freight. In terms of scale, Sennder now boasts 800 employees and 7 international offices.
Sennder’s growth shows no sign of abating. Just this year, Sender bagged a Series D funding worth $160 million at a $1 billion+ valuation. With the freight industry being valued highly at €400bn, the already remarkable Sennder is poised for even bigger things in the coming years.
While the above marketplaces have clearly distinguished from the rest, the B2B marketplace ecosystem is still relatively young. In fact, more than 6 out of 10 of B2B marketplaces in Europe were founded in the last 6 years and the majority have yet to raise a seed round. With more marketplaces being created and the existing ones becoming more established, it is almost a certainty that more B2B marketplaces in Europe will join this list in the near future.
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