Learnings from the 2022 Sharing Economy Global Summit

Written by Jen McKeeman

19 October 2022

Pasabi enjoyed attending the Sharing Economy Global Summit last week in London. Meeting attendees from around the globe, the sessions were highly informative across Trust & Safety, Compliance & Regulatory, and Technology & Innovation, to name but a few. A fantastic opportunity to both speak to sharing economy startups and learn from experts in the sector - highly recommended for anyone considering attending  Marketplace Risk events in the future! 

Here’s a summary of what we took away from the summit.


Measuring the sharing economy

The sharing economy model is enjoying huge success, however, the Confederation of Business Industry talked about the difficulty quantifying the size of the sector as it’s hard to identify all the relevant platforms - some models share things (RentMy), others share skills (Kesero), and for others, space is the commodity. 


A sustainable way forward

Sustainability and circularity were common themes and drivers for innovative startups such as clothing rental platform, Loanhood, fashion resale app, FINDS, and sustainability engagement app, Ailuna. Educating users on the importance and availability of environment-friendly, zero-waste and low-waste options, many businesses in this sector are keen to encourage habits that are good for people and the planet. Access to goods is becoming more important than ownership, particularly among Generation Z.


Healthcare solutions ripe for disruption

It was particularly interesting to hear from sharing platforms innovating in the healthcare sector with businesses such as CareRooms, described as the ‘Airbnb for care’,  and home help platform Good Life Sorted, disrupting the sector and building more positive outcomes for communities. Their success extends beyond revenue generated and provides invaluable, mutually beneficial opportunities for community members where traditional care solutions are lacking or unavailable. A sector where trust and safety are essential, robust checks, reviews and feedback are vital to safe growth.


Safe platform growth




Speaking of safety, Chris Downie, Pasabi’s CEO, spoke alongside Domonique Rai-Varming, Trustpilot’s Director of Litigation, to the issue of trust being essential for safe platform growth. Trust and safety is an enabler for the sharing economy, with reviews playing a vital role in establishing trust. Bad actors are continually looking for ways to illegally influence consumers with fake reviews being a clear threat to platform growth and reputation.

As regulators crack down on online platforms in relation to user-generated content, misleading ratings and fake reviews, keeping up to date with what needs to be done can be a difficult task requiring expert help and guidance.


Regulation awareness

On that matter, John Tomaszewski of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, presented a particularly interesting session outlining the difficulties when regulations conflict, intersect or have unforeseen implications for each other such as the Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act and GDPR laws. Understanding where your business’s responsibilities lie is essential as platforms themselves are now being regulated, rather than just the activity on the platform.


Leveraging data for proactive threat detection

Several platforms discussed the importance of using data to detect fraudulent behaviour signals. Having access to a lot of data is useful but only if you know what good and bad looks like and how to best use it.  This is where using experts comes in and how leaning on your technology partners to understand your data can help you gain the best advantage.


Combination of fraud detection measures for maximum protection

To successfully mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity on your platform, a multi-layered approach is essential using a combination of identity verification, continual seller monitoring and auditing historical chargebacks and refunds. Don’t underestimate the value in understanding your data - your data points provide signals for risk. More data means higher accuracy and increased automation, saving you time, money and protecting your reputation and users.

As we’ve read, the issue of trust was a strong theme throughout many of the sessions and links directly into a platform’s reputation - something traditional brands have had to deal with for a long time, but is now gaining importance among platforms and marketplaces. 

The Sharing Economy Global Summit was a very insightful event providing an opportunity for startups, vendors and experts to learn from each other and look to collaborate to achieve greater success solving human and technology challenges together.