What are the burning issues of the local on demand economy (LODE), from the perspective of its funders? At BIA/Kelsey NOW a panel of top-tier VCs zeroed in on the cultural and political issues that will make or break LODE (video below).
One consensus was that some LODE business models are so innovative and disruptive that they have leapfrogged the policies and law that oversee it. The question becomes, how attractive must an investment be to sustain the risk inherent in uncertain policy horizons?
In other words, no matter how attractive the unit economics or disruption potential of a given startup, it can be shut down by looming factors such as laws yet written. And that of course creates a considerable level of risk from an investment perspective.
This has become more exposed in the days following the session when matters of LODE worker employment status threatens to eviscerate some business models. This is what many believe to be the undoing of HomeJoy (though we believe it was other reasons).
Either way, there are several macro factors that will determine the fate of LODE and its winners and losers. These factors will also determine how LODE migrates into new verticals and into higher-end professions in what we’re calling phase II of on-demand.
These topics and several more were discussed throughout the session, which you can see in full below. Stay tuned for lots more conference footage and LODE coverage.