Our investment in Showplace

A modern product sampling and commerce marketplace through short-term rentals

We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in Showplace. Showplace is building a modern product sampling and commerce marketplace through short-term rentals.


Background: 

More and more brands are looking for new and unique ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to get more people to try and experience their products. Brands often will have large sampling budgets where they showcase their products at trade shows and related events. However, research suggests that people are more likely to purchase something if they have had time to use it, and purchases dramatically increase if potential customers can use products in the actual environments they were designed for. But this is a big challenge, how do you get products into people’s hands at the right place and the right time?


At the same time, short-term rentals have exploded with growth through platforms like Airbnb to VRBO and the growth of multi-property property managers. These rental properties are high fixed cost, monetizable assets which property managers are always looking to further monetize. This is a huge missed opportunity to utilize these spaces to advertise and allow renters the chance to experience products such as sheets and mattresses, lamps, and soaps in real-world situations, as opposed to quickly trying them out in a store or trade show. 


Company Specifics: 

Showplace is setting out to modernize how customers discover, try, and buy products. They have built the world’s largest offline-to-online direct-to-consumer marketplace. Products are advertised and showcased in short-term rentals and potential customers have the opportunity to try, use, and live with the product in a home environment. From consumables like soaps, shampoos, snacks, and beverages to durables like mattresses, mattress toppers, sheets, and pillows any brand can put their products in front of people in real-life situations. By creating a new marketing channel for brands, Showplace enables potential customers the time to fall in love with a product before purchasing it.


With over 4,000 listings signed within the last 12 months, Showplace is catching on, and hosts who use their service are seeing a difference too. By offering a new and exciting experience in their rental space, they can stand out as a unique and noteworthy listing, earning them higher ratings and reviews in the process. Showplace products can be purchased directly within the short-term rental which can become an additional revenue stream for short-term rental owners, while dramatically increasing the sales of these products and improving guests’ experience. While Showplace is currently focused on short-term rental spaces, they plan to expand into hotels, gyms, and more soon. 


We met Justin Miller, the CEO, through a mutual connection when he moved to Denver from San Francisco last year. This is his third startup, and both of his prior startups have been acquired, one by Chegg and the other by Expedia. Justin’s prior experience is in building marketplace businesses and finding inefficiencies to exploit in established markets. We’re thrilled to partner with Justin and the whole Showplace team.


Learn more at:

https://showplacehq.com/
Natty Zola
April 12, 2021
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