Mention “online marketplace” and Amazon is generally the first thing that comes to mind. However, it isn’t only retail that is being disrupted by online marketplaces, as two unlikely industries are currently discovering.
Yet the disruption is often proving a windfall for business owners and operators, by helping them target their marketing efforts and engage directly with people seeking their specific services.
Listed healtech company Novita Healthcare recently acquired Newly, an online marketplace that connects consumers with disability support and aged care workers.
Currently based and operating within Victoria, Novita is looking to expand Newly initially to Queensland.
“We are shaking up the recent spate of start-ups in the aged care and disability support markets by revolutionising the way carers are screened and recruited,” says Helen Kemp, who co-founded Newly with Bill Mountford.
Both have previous experience in public and private health sectors, and admit that online marketplaces can’t have a one-size-fits all approach. For care services, as an example, the pair note it is very different to provide care to someone with dementia or autism than take a short ride in a stranger’s car.
“In particular, our clients and the people they look after need to be assured on key issues such as the background, skills and personal attributes of carers and support workers.”
A similar business, Better Caring, has been operating out of Sydney since 2014, which promotes what it calls “self-managed home care packages”, which allow consumers to find and hire local carers and support workers and have a more proactive involvement in how their support service is provided.
It comes as online consulting marketplace Expert360 announced the completion of a $13 million funding drive to expand its reach and add new features.
“Clients are telling us that many of the best consultants are no longer sitting in firms, or looking to take full-time jobs. They’re on Expert360,” says co-founder and CEO Bridget Loudon, noting the marketplace is home to some 15,000 vetted professionals across a range of disciplines.
“Expert360 has hugely resonated with executives who have long sought a way to tap specialised skills for project work. Traditionally, this access has been costly, time-consuming or both.”