Butlr reinvents the peer-to-peer marketplace
Bultr, an ambitious Swedish startup, is taking the successful Airbnb model to a much bigger marketplace. If it's successful, it will show just how valuable Ecosystem Economics can be to the world of small businesses. From cleaning to private education, Butlr is trying to help people market their skills and get jobs done. The website is split into two parts - one for 'sellers' (big and small) to advertise their services, and another for 'buyers' to advertise jobs; recognising the importance of entrepreneurial service providers and their customer base alike.
Airbnb is the obvious comparison, particularly in terms of providing a secure space for peer-to-peer trades, but the failings of big corporate rivals also provided impetus and ideas. As founder Ozcar Stormer told Swedish Startup Space, "Google is a great way to find information, but when you search for 'cleaning services Stockholm' you will get 2.5 million hits [and] wouldn't know which one to pick. The service sector is the only sector that has not been benefited by the new internet technology."
One of those new technologies is Foursquare-inspired geo-location, which helps users source jobs or services locally, and builds a sense of connection and community. And Butlr has already solved the secure payment problem by partnering with Mangopay to set up a European Central Bank approved peer-to-peer payment system.
Now the focus is on building that community to get the network effect fully operational, and to really start sharing the wealth.