Marketplaces: Activity Report H1 2024

ComCap has covered the marketplaces sector for over a decade. Our thematic report on the sector is crafted to bolster transparency and communication among market participants, as well as financial and strategic investors. Our report underscores the sector’s growth potential and showcases key disruptors. Furthermore, the report accentuates M&A and Private Placement (PP) deal activity, as well as highlights the valuation of publicly listed entities in the space.

Key trends highlighted in the report include:

  • The global B2C e-commerce market is estimated to reach $9.0TN by 2032, registering a 7.2% CAGR during 2023-32, mainly driven by rising accessibility, customer engagement, and frictionless payment methods.
  • The use of B2B e-commerce platforms as the main procurement channel is rising, driven by the ease of comparing prices and accessing a broader vendor pool. Consequently, B2B e-commerce market is estimated to see a 17.5% CAGR during 2023-30, reaching $57.6TN by 2030
  • The M&A and PP deal activity within the marketplace sector stayed notably lively in comparison to the latter half of 2022 and the initial half of 2023
    • Few big-ticket deals such as Rover Group – Blackstone ($2.3BN), Tokopedia – TikTok ($1.5BN), and Farfetch – Coupang ($500.0MM), propelled M&A deal value during H2’23
    • PP space also remained relatively active during H2’23, with the total deal value jumping by 148%, and the volume rising by 36% YoY during the period
  • Horizontal marketplaces from ROW enjoy higher valuation multiples (1.2x FY24E rev. and 13.8x FY24E EBITDA) as compared to their US peers. However, most vertical marketplaces command higher revenue multiples than horizontal peers

Other key themes covered in the report include:

  • Recognizing the potential of generative AI, prominent online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and Alibaba have made significant investments in NLP and GenAI to boost their generative AI-powered search capabilities
  • Social media firms’ shopping platforms are transitioning from secondary features to becoming central hubs, seamlessly blending social interactions with the joy of shopping. Notably, US social commerce sales are likely to constitute 6.6% of total e-commerce sales in 2024
  • Voice commerce and live streaming commerce are growing in prominence with major marketplaces like Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Poshmark embracing concepts like speech-assisted device
  • Online marketplaces are increasingly aiming to recreate the in-store shopping feel by adopting immersive features in their platform. This improves customer experience, drives higher conversion, and lowers product returns
  • Online marketplaces are exploring inorganic routes to expand their capabilities and market positioning