03. Matchmaking Model



The company develops a product or standardized service and sells it to customers. The value proposition is transactional: to provide a product or standardized service that customers will buy.



The company engages with a customer about a problem the customer faces, and provides an integrated solution. The value proposition is relational: to tailor solutions to each customer.



The company joins buyers and sellers in its online or physical marketplace. The value proposition is transactional: to facilitate exchange.



The company provides different products or services to different customer groups. The value proposition is multi-sided: one customer group gets additional benefits from the other group’s transactions.

This is how it works:

image/svg+xml image/svg+xml FIRM Platform organiser CUSTOMER A CUSTOMER B SELLER Customer's need BUYER Customer's need Fee forusing platform Fee forusing platform Payment Product/Service Buyer (Customer B) andSellers (Customer A) areconnected on the Firm'sphysical or digital platform.

A multi-party arrangement (triadic) where a Firm identifies two (or more) different customer groups A and B; and brings them together on the Firm's digital or physical marketplace. The value proposition of the Firm is transactional, and lies in the matchmaking between A and B via this new marketplace.

Trade was one of the first activities of mankind; but making a business from running a marketplace has only recently become widespread. This pathway requires:

~ Identifying potential buyers AND potential sellers; AND making them arrive at the same time to the marketplace (a double challenge)

~ Creating high level of trust with these each of these two groups – that they can fulfil needs by trading on the digital or physical marketplace organized by the Firm

~ Charging mechanisms are almost always a fee based on actual trade

~ Construction of the marketplace and the mechanisms of customer engagement are rarely outsourced

Successful C2C exemplars include: Airbnb who identified people’s homes as an asset to be rented out, created trust among renters and those who do the renting, and created sufficient value to be able to collect significant fees for its service. Stock markets are well known B2B platforms that started in the physical space and are now almost exclusively digital. In many cases creativity about what is to be traded is the key to success. Failure rates are very high for this business model – designing the offer and building the trust takes time and effort.

SCALABILITY – Typically high

PROFITABILITY – Margins are typically small – profits rely on volume

RISK – Entry from copycats and envelopment from multisided business models. This model also requires that customer groups A and B are entrepreneurs.

Typical examples:

  • - Adzuna (close)

    Adzuna is an example of a marketplace matchmaker business model. Through its website, the company connects job seekers to employers looking to hire. Adzuna aggregates job listings from many different websites (e.g., monster.com) and makes this database of ... › Read more

  • - Airbnb (close)

    Airbnb is a peer-to-peer accommodation rental company; it is an example of a marketplace business model, bringing together travellers in need of a short-term accommodation and owners of the properties willing to rent them. Airbnb connects this dyadic relat... › Read more

  • - Algomi (close)

    Algomi represents an exemplar “matchmaking” business model in the financial services sector, specifically catering to buyers and sellers in bond markets, and the exchanges on which they trade. Algomi’s algorithms provide bond matching tec... › Read more

  • - Bla Bla Car (close)

    Bla Bla Car operates a matchmaking business model via its website: it connects drivers and passengers who are willing to travel together between cities, whilst offering the opportunity to directly interact with one another. Passenger-customers complete the... › Read more

  • - Busuu (close)

    Busuu operates a matchmaking business model, in which a user who would like to learn a language is connected with another user who speaks that language but is also looking to learn the language of the other user. Founded in 2008, Busuu has more than 50m us... › Read more

  • - eToro (close)

    eToro operates an exemplar matchmaking business model. It is the largest online social trading and investment network. It combines the value propositions from electronic trading brokerages and virtual social networks. eToro links investors from around the ... › Read more

  • - Eventbrite (close)

    Eventbrite is a global online marketplace for live experiences that enables its users to search for, find, and create events.... › Read more

  • - Farfetch (close)

    Farfetch is an exemplar of a matchmaking business model that brings together independent boutique stores that do not have an e-commerce website, with shoppers looking for unique and curated fashion clothing and accessories. It does not hold inventory, whic... › Read more

  • - Funding Circle (close)

    Funding Circle is an online credit marketplace allowing individual investors to loan to SMEs. The company is at its heart a matchmaking business that connects people who are happy to make loans with SMEs looking to borrow. However, the business also operat... › Read more

  • - Green Man Gaming (close)

    Green Man Gaming is an example of a matchmaking business model. It operates a web-based market for PC video games that brings together buyers of video games and video game publishers. The company differentiates itself from the incumbents by allowing gamers... › Read more

  • - Hailo (close)

    Hailo represents an “exemplar” matchmaking business model in the transportation industry that mobilizes mobile and location technology. Hailo has developed an app for mobile phones along with the supporting infrastructure that links (a) people ... › Read more

  • - Housetrip (close)

    Housetrip is an example of a matchmaking business model. Individuals can rent out their entire home for short periods of time to those who need accommodation while traveling. The exchange between the two parties occurs via Housetrip’s website. The co... › Read more

  • - Just Eat (close)

    Just Eat is an example of a Matchmaking business model. It connects local restaurants and individuals looking for a meal to be delivered to their home or office. Customers order from restaurants listed on the Just Eat website, Just Eat sends these orders t... › Read more

  • - JustGiving (close)

    JustGiving operates a matchmaking business model. It provides a global online social marketplace for giving, connecting donors and charitable organisations. The firm's headquarters are located in Bankside, London. The online marketplace provides tools... › Read more

  • - Lending Club (close)

    Lending Club is an online credit marketplace operating in the US. The company is at its heart a matchmaking business that connects people who are happy to make loans with small businesses and individuals. However, the business also operates a highly interc... › Read more

  • - LMAX Exchange (close)

    Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms (2015 Winner - Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, Tech Track 100 Sunday Times: 2015, 2014, 2013), LMAX Exchange is a London-based FCA-regulated multilateral trading facility (MTF) for FX tra... › Read more

  • - Lyst (close)

    Lyst is an example of a matchmaking business model connecting fashion retailers with customers. Fashion products typically consist of clothing and accessory items of different brands. In addition to the catalogue of items, Lyst also provides curated conten... › Read more

  • - Naked Wines (close)

    Naked Wines represents an “exemplar” matchmaking business model in the wine retailing sector because the transaction between wine producers and wine consumers is fully mediated by Naked Wines – it would be very difficult for the wine buye... › Read more

  • - NotOnTheHighStreet.com (close)

    Not On The High Street (NOTHS) represents an “exemplar” matchmaking business model which links independent producers or businesses, which have a limited physical store and web presence, with consumers looking for customized or specialty product... › Read more

  • - OneFineStay (close)

    Onefinestay is an upscale accommodation company, which operates an exemplar Matchmaking business model, where a homeowner (host) can offer their property to a traveller looking for upmarket accommodation.... › Read more

  • - Quikr (close)

    Quikr is an online classified advertising company where buyers and sellers meet and transact. Sellers are able to post advertisements for their products for free on the platform, and buyers are able to view ads and buy the products of their choice, directl... › Read more

  • - SecretEscapes (close)

    Secretescapes is a travel flash-sale site that follows a matchmaking business model. By conducting flash-sales on its website, Secretescapes connects luxury hotels and other accommodation providers with individuals looking for luxury accommodation. As a ma... › Read more

  • - SkyScanner (close)

    Skyscanner is global search engine that helps people find and compare the best offers in flights, hotels and car rentals. The main business model is a website that provides a free search service for a) travellers, and simply directs them to b) the third p... › Read more

  • - Snapdeal (close)

    Snapdeal is an Indian based company that serves Indian customers and has both Indian and International brands in its marketplace. ... › Read more

  • - Unruly (close)

    Unruly operates a matchmaking business model in the online advertising industry. Unruly signs up website publishers to its marketplace to make ad inventory available to advertisers. Unruly uses programmatic Real-Time Bidding (RTB) to match publishers with ... › Read more

  • - Zoopla (close)

    Zoopla operates a matchmaking business model in the peer-to-peer real estate industry; it brings together potential buyers/renters – via their real estate agents - and sellers/lessors in need of locating their ideal property for purchase or rent. Zo... › Read more

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