navdy startup trends

5 Startup Business Models That Are Disrupting Global Markets

In 2011 Uber expanded internationally, having raised $49 million in venture funding.

Fast forward to 2015 and that funding has reached a total of $2.8 billion… Wouldn’t you like that to be your company?

Companies like Uber, Airbnb and Square have become the benchmark for the startup tech-world.

So what is it about their business models that are attracting so much global attention and funding?

Before we start, I want to ask you… How are you going to capitalise on these trends?

Here are 5 startup business models that are disrupting global markets:

1. Collaborative Consumption.

Collaborative Consumption

Source: Hello City

Collaborative Consumption, or the ‘sharing’ economy is a system that’s built around the sharing of resources.

Recommended reading: 5 Exciting Predictions For The Future Of Collaborative Consumption

It allows people to conveniently access goods and services in more sustainable ways, engage in new experiences, and capitalize on greater economic efficiencies.

This ability to empower individuals by cutting out the middle man gained significant investment interest in 2014, leveraging information technology to reach global markets.

The idea is that the value of the shared goods are increased, because they contribute to the betterment of society.

You’ve all seen what Airbnb has done to the hotel-chain market.

So what does this mean for you?

This asset or skill sharing movement is still in it’s embryonic stages.

In other words, it’s only hit the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and what will come next is going to be revolutionary.

This idea is fast moving away from ‘the new Airbnb for XYZ’ or ‘the new Uber for XYZ.’

What we will see is this trend moving towards solving real world issues, like education and poverty.

Bonus: 5 Revolutionary Tech Projects Changing The World For The Better

The ability for you to build your own business based off this ‘new world order’ is limitless.

Check out these companies who are doing awesome things in the space:

2. Crowdsourced Data

The ‘big data’ hype has been around for a while but many entrepreneurs and organisations still don’t know how to tap into the tremendous amount of useful data that is collected to build disruptive products.

Have you ever heard of crowdsourcing data?

Well, this is how initiatives like FoodSwitch have been able to collect an international database of barcoded food products.

The mobile-based application allows you to scan everyday supermarket products to obtain health information whilst offering healthier alternatives.

Every-time a user scans a product that isn’t in the database, users simply upload an image of the barcode, the product and the health information and it’s then processed into the system.


FoodSwitch has so far only released information for FatSwitch, GlutenSwitch, SaltSwitch, EnergySwitch and SugarSwitch.

Take a few seconds to think about what else you could do with this kind of crowdsourced health information. 

Another really awesome crowdsourcing data concept is Zooniverse.

The universe is one of humanity’s most unanswered questions, and understanding its complexities means analysing an overwhelming amount of data.

Zooniverse, (the geniuses) launched their own crowdsourcing project called Moon Zoo, which encouraged ordinary citizens to study and organise high-resolution lunar images.

To date, some four million lunar images have been studied!

How’s that for using technology to move society forward?   

3. Social Connectivity

Facebook is kind of like the school-yard bully. Anyone who tries to disrupt or invade their play-ground will most likely be smushed. 

But this is where ‘smushed’ can actually be a good thing – Do you remember how much they bought What’s App for last year?

Startups are capitalising on what Facebook doesn’t offer in the social space or are figuring out a way to disrupt their playground.

One of our clients BUZZme is doing just this. They have designed a photo-sharing chat application that capitalises on everything SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram don’t offer.

Keep an eye out for the release soon!

Connecting people is the single greatest function of technology. No longer are we confined to building relationships with the people immediately around us. Instead we can connect with people from all of the world who have the same interests as us.

So… What are you going to do to disrupt the social playground?

You need to remember, when it comes to social connectivity, there are plenty of opportunities that haven’ t been tapped into.

Facebook thinks in terms of world domination, so why don’t you think in terms of niches? Such as workplaces, schools, fitness, sport communities, etc.

There are also plenty of ways to make the social experience more engaging for users, spaces that Facebook and Twitter aren’t in.

You just need to think outside the box.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are afraid to take on Facebook, but if Facebook didn’t take on Myspace and render them pretty much irrelevant within 5 years, where would society be?

4. Health

Finally, the health revolution has cemented it’s place in our society. There are so many opportunities in the health-tech space that have not been tapped into.

Bonus: Why Mobile Health Tech Is So Much More Than Fitness Apps

At the moment, fitness companies like Strava are using GPS location technologies and social communities to connect and motivate users.

There are plenty of niche online communities for bike-riding and running, but what about the other 100+ sports?

In terms of nutrition, there are apps like FoodSwitch, who I mentioned above.

This was an initiative conceptualised by Bupa and The George Institute who’ve teamed up with us at Buzinga.

The intention of this idea is to tackle the obesity epidemic by offering transparent health related food information right on your mobile. Users can simply scan in the barcode whilst shopping and monitor certain food choices based on the ‘mode’ chosen.

For example, if you are watching your sodium intake, you select the SaltSwitch mode. After scanning in the item, you’re informed of the sodium level and may be offered healthier choices based on national health regulations.

In GlutenSwitch mode, the app lists any gluten-free alternatives in order of how healthy they are.    

Current modes include SaltSwitch, FoodSwitch, GlutenSwitch, SugarSwitch, FatSwitch and EnergySwitch.

Start connecting the dots…

What if you could build a health related product that used crowdsourced data, collaborative consumption and social engagement?

To be a disruptor in today’s market, you need to think even bigger than just creating an online recipe book or a new fitness tracker.

5. Social Safety 

Now we’re getting serious.

Social safety is one of the world’s biggest issues.

A few priority issues include street safety, data hacking and road safety.

Technology should, and can be used, to help solve these social issues. If you haven’t read my blogs before, I’m very passionate about leveraging technology to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

Bonus: 5 Revolutionary Tech Projects Changing The World For The Better In 2015

A major trend gaining significant investor interest in the startup world, is building technology inspired solutions to help tackle real social safety issues, rather than just leaving the responsibly to public servants.

A great example of this is Navdy, a company who’ve built a technology that projects your smartphone screen 2 metres in-front of you whilst driving – Your eyes never leave the road.

This technology will literally save thousands of lives.


Source: Navdy

Another one is Tribesta, tackling social safety by building an application that connects family and friends that look after each other and come to the call if someones in trouble.

They are connected through alert functions and a geo-locating system with access to emergency services.

The goal was to reduce the amount of fatal incidences and protect people by bringing them closer no matter where they are.

When you’re building a business, you need to have a purpose, something that makes a real impact and difference in the world. Social safety is great place to start.


Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or ready to change the lives of thousands or even millions of people, understanding what business models are currently disrupting the global market is a great place to start.

The greatest thing about these 5 trends, is that they aren’t limited to one solution. For example, the collaborative consumption model has endless opportunities for re-modelling to solve a new problem.

If I can give you any advice, it’s to challenge your thought processes and think outside the box. Don’t be intimidated by the big players like Facebook and Airbnb, they can be toppled as easily as Kodak and Blockbuster were.

If you have anything to add to this article, please feel free to share your comments below.

Where To Go Next

5 Exciting Predictions For The Future Of Collaborative Consumption

Why Mobile Health Tech Is So Much More Than Fitness Apps 

5 Revolutionary Tech Projects Making The World A Better Place



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Logan Merrick is the co-founder and Director of Buzinga, as well as one of Australia's most recognised entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, investors and mentors. His writing on startups, technology and mobile marketing has been featured in The Australian, Business Insider, Startup Smart, Smart Company, and more.
  • Xplore Handcrafted
    Your email is my daily fix, with seriously interesting articles that not only challenge my way of thinking but they often set the pace for the rest of my day. Bonus – they are all a great read while drinking my first coffee of the day :)

  • Love all your articles Logan packed full of golden nuggets for collective growth. Awesome!!!

    • Logan Merrick

      Mate when MMN is up and running I’ll contribute a gold nugget like this to your blog ;)