Instant delivery and DAOs: groundbreaking innovations or mere fads?
The unsustainable economics of instant delivery
Recent funding rounds for Gorillas, Zapp and Getir, combined with an expected public offering of Gopuff, indicate that the instant delivery sector is booming. The question is whether the underlying economics will support the promise of these companies to bring sustainable returns. Already, problems are emerging that indicate that the future of these delivery companies is not all fun and games. The first of these problems is that to date, on-demand grocery services are not profitable. U.S.-based instant delivery startup Jokr even reported losing $159 per order. A second problem is that the so-called “dark stores” from which these grocery services operate are a source of complaints for city residents. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, for example, these complaints are already urging local policy makers to impose regulatory measures. Finally, employees of Gorillas (among others) have been complaining about safety and pay discrepancies. Further regulation, consolidation and price increases (as happened earlier at Airbnb and Uber) are to be expected. Only then, the current business model of instant delivery services could prove to be sustainable.
Broaden Your Horizons
- Fintech companies proved to be viable competitors of traditional banks. Now that banks have started to offer fintech-inspired services, the question is whether and how fintechs will remain relevant.
- Last January, the Tonga archipelago was hit by a volcano eruption and a tsunami. This Business Insider article highlights how Starlink is helping Tonga to restore its internet connections.
- This Capgemini report discusses how advanced technology is shifting from retail banking to the commercial banking space. Furthermore, it presents other trends in commercial banking for 2022.
DAO in development
Blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are gaining traction in the real world. Recently, LinksDAO raised funds to buy a golf course, while CityDAO purchased a 40-acre plot of land to develop a city using blockchain technology. Both apply a collaborative structure, where members receive crypto tokens with voting rights that alter the traditional top-down corporate decision-making process. This form of decentralized decision-making is a core feature of most DAOs. With no central leadership and decisions made collectively, DAOs could also become a popular business model for the gig economy, enabling (remote working) freelancers to band together. Furthermore, they might be perfect for projects, as a DAO is quickly created and equally quickly disbanded when the job is completed. Moreover, by being blockchain-based it becomes easier to create permanent records to govern such projects. While DAOs have long been part of the crypto community, the examples show that they could have real impact in the physical world. Not just by building golf courses or cities, but also in the way we organize work and how we define a company.
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