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5 Marketplaces That Changed the World


The disruptive nature of marketplaces must not be ignored – especially with Airbnb and Uber upending traditional industries.

Tons of other marketplaces with similar models are sprouting up everywhere, hoping to recreate the success stories of Airbnb and Uber. While the majority of marketplaces still focus on turning a profit, there are other nobler reasons involved.

From marketplaces that help alleviate extreme poverty to an online platform where people can buy homemade arts and crafts, there are plenty of marketplaces that seek to improve lives and change the world around them. Here are some of them.


It’s a non-profit organization that connects people through peer-to-peer lending that aims to tackle the issue of extreme poverty.

Through their marketplace website, people in developed nations can connect with entrepreneurs in developing nations and provide micro finance services. Since its inception in 2005, Kiva has loaned over US$840 million to people in over 84 countries through the website.

With a 98.35 per cent repayment rate, Kiva envisions a world where people in developing communities in need, no matter how remote they are, have the opportunity to thrive. Through its micro-finance services, Kiva has enabled countless people living in poverty to increase their well-being at the individual and household level.


Indiegogo was founded in 2008 with a mission to empower creative, entrepreneurial people everywhere to bring their ideas to life. The founders wanted to figure out a way to connect talented people who have genius ideas but stall at execution because of funding.

It serves as a platform that removes barriers in bringing projects to life and a means to empower communities. Anybody can create campaigns through Indiegogo’s website which experiences 15 million visitors monthly Currently, Indiegogo is active in 223 countries and have funded many campaigns from having a baby to protecting endangering birds.


To list Bitcoin as one of the marketplaces that change the world may come as a surprise for some.

It’s a web of network that powered by users with no middlemen and using decentralized peer-to-peer system. Users can send and receive bitcoins with each other and though a mobile app or website which then can be exchanged to any currencies through banks.

Bitcoin users have full control of their money and it’s not managed by other individual or organisation. With an average of 8,000 transactions per hour, Bitcoin is set to disrupt the financial industry with its evolving technology and adoption.


Skillshare is a platform where anyone can take thousands of online classes at a small fee, and earn a fee teaching classes themselves.

It is a platform that serves as an online learning community for creators. Classes registered are taught by industry experts and with a focus on learning by doing.

Since its humble beginnings in 2010, Skillshare has paid US$5 million to teachers through its 1.1 million students in over 4,000 classes that cover many topics from arts to medicine.  Skillshare is revolutionising the way people learn, it gives an opportunity to people who can’t afford the tuition fees at costly institutional educations, but still want to learn practical and vocational skills.


It is where the world goes to shop, sell, and give. eBay is an American multinational ecommerce company that provides C2C and B2C sales through the internet. eBay has been revolutionizing online shopping for the past 20 years that grown into 800 million active listings on its database.

eBay allows sellers to list anything that exists in the world whether it’s used, luxurious, or rare items. With 162 million active buyers, eBay has changed the world in a way that provides economic and professional opportunities for sellers, and convenience of finding anything imaginable in its massive database at competitive price for buyers.


There are countless other marketplaces that exist to make an impact to the world. The reasons to build a marketplace should be more than just financial gains. By creating something that is innovative and alleviate problems in the communities around the world – standard of living in impacted communities will increase. The positive impact on building a marketplace in any sector is endless. What are you waiting for? Create a marketplace that can change the world today.

About: Sten Ivan is a content writer for Arcadier, a SaaS company that powers next generation marketplace ideas. Follow Arcadier on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for news and updates.

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