According to a projection made by Bank of America analyst Justin Post, there is a total addressable market for e-commerce B2B of $1.4 trillion by 2021. This projection was stated in a CNBC (Sheetz) article about market growth for Amazon Business which “is about twice the potential for [Amazon’s] core retail business.” The article also states: “B2B has many more hurdles to adoption given the complex (and often offline) procurement processes, but Amazon is driving steady adoption.”
Procurement should note that innovation is occurring at a steady pace and digital marketplaces of all types are jumping – and clearing – procurement process hurdles. Here is a sampling of marketplaces (mostly niche) that offer solutions that not only connect buyers of products and services to suppliers, but also address various procurement process roadblocks.
Kinnek – marketplace for small businesses and suppliers in bakery, beverage, industrial, lodging, and hospitality equipment where you can vet suppliers and control how to manage your payments
Vroozi – connects customers and suppliers in a unified full service e-procurement system with solutions for government, GPO, healthcare, manufacturing, media, oil and gas, and other industries
LandscapeHub – streamlines the procurement process in the nursery and landscape industry including pricing, vetting, logistics, and central payment
LeafLink – online marketplace for wholesale cannabis and provides a suite of products including streamlined ordering, CRM, reporting tools and fulfillment and shipment queues
RigUp – helps energy companies manage their contract workforce by providing access to independent contractors, handling sourcing and onboarding, and providing payment management tools
Open Mineral – cloud-based solution for buying and selling metal concentrates; offers access to smooth trade execution services such as freight, surveying, financing and insurance
iSpecimen – provides access to millions of biospecimens that meet precise research criteria and is a single point for compliance, contracting and order management
OpenMarkets – marketplace for healthcare equipment that is a one-stop shop to research suppliers and products, get quotes and stay organized through to point-of-purchase
Zageno – unifies crucial resources affiliated with Biotech products and research kits that provides cross-manufacturer comparison and integrates lab orders into administrative processes
TripActions – provides a corporate travel platform where business travelers can arrange flights, hotels and transportation and integrates with company HR and expense systems
Freightos – uses a SaaS-enabled marketplace model and helps in automating freight rate management, pricing/routing and business intelligence
Logistics/Trucking/Fleet Management – There is noticeable growth in this space where platforms allow for greater efficiency in booking shipments by connecting shippers and carriers in real time. A sampling of these include Loadsmart, Transfix, Convoy, Uber Freight, and Cargomatic.
BTN. “Smaller Players That Are Finding Their Niche.” BTN. May 22, 2018.
Bort, Julie. “57 Startups That Will Boom in 2019, According to VCs.” Business Insider. February 6, 2019.
Clark, Kate. “Corporate Travel Startup TripActions Raises $154M at 1B Valuation.” TechCrunch. November 2018.
Concepcion, Anais. “Amazon Will Claim 10% of B2B Market, Unless Traditional Companies Stop It – Here’s How.” Applico. March 20, 2019.
CB Insights. “From Tracking Food To Last-Mile Delivery, 125+ Startups Disrupting The Supply Chain & Logistics Industry.” CB Insights. August 30, 2018.
Davis, Katherine. “Chicago Startup LandscapeHub Raises $4.4M.” Chicago Inno. March 14, 2018.
DC Velocity. Maersk Leads Group Investing $21.6 Million in Digital Brokerage Startup Loadsmart. DC Velocity. October 9, 2018.
Loritz, Mary. “Swiss Commodity Trading Platform Open Mineral Secures €4.8 Million in Funding.” EU Startups. November 26, 2018.
Premack, Rachel. Uber Freight Has Nabbed Execs from Airbnb and Box, Plans to Double Its Staff This Year, and Hinted That International Expansion Is Next. Business Insider. February 21, 2019.
Sheetz, Michael. “There’s a Business Growing Within Amazon That Could One Day Be Worth More Than Retail or Cloud.” CNBC. March 19, 2019.