Convenience: The Newest Way to Raise Capital
May 6, 2014
May 6, 2014
(image via the New York Times)
As the average number of hours spent working each week continues to rise for Americans, there has been an uptick in our society’s willingness to pay more for services that offer convenience. In a sense, we are all looking to buy ourselves more time in the day. This crosses all industries from real estate to transportation to maintaining a household.
Companies like Uber have built their entire business models off of selling convenience. Instead of wasting time trying to hail a cab on a Friday night, users are able to order a personal car to arrive at their location momentarily through their smartphone. The immediacy of these services can get pricey though, with the cost of one ride at peak hours to up to four times the normal price. Despite this, Uber continues to be one of the fastest growing companies across the globe. They have even expanded their services from traditional taxi rides to offer users accessibility to Uber Choppers (personalized helicopter transit) and they’re in the initial phases of rolling out Uber Rush, a messenger service that will pick up anything from a gift at a friend’s house to your forgotten phone at work.
This trend is also being seen in the residential real estate market as luxury developers continue to beef up the concierge services and amenities offered to residents. These have become deciding factors for apartment hunters as more and more people are choosing to sacrifice square footage for on-site amenities like fitness centers, pools, indoor basketball courts, game rooms and spas.
Even the simple act of shopping for food has been altered as popular grocers like Whole Foods and Fresh Direct offer grocery delivery services to residents for an added fee. Online shopping websites like Amazon have launched new business lines aimed at selling groceries to add another level of ease for consumers.
As people continue to formulate their lifestyles around saving time, we will continue to see new business models built on convenience come about. In what industry do you think the next big convenience-centric business will be built?