The Future of Platform Business Model in Laos
The term of platform business model may be familiar to many developed countries, but it is different in Laos. A booming of platform business model has recently occurred, which the local food delivery app was a key player. Then, followed by an international company that is now competing with each other in the Lao market. Besides, the local private taxi app and the payment app issued by local banks were the initiators in this business model for many years.
To distinguish the platform business from the traditional business model, the digital disruption has become a key factor in differentiating them, in particular through the value chain system. As shown in the below figure, the value chain of the traditional or pipe business model is a linear system because they create value in the form of goods or services and then sell them to someone downstream in their supply chain.
In contrast, a platform is a business model that assists the exchange of value between two or more user groups, usually a consumer and a producer. For example, YouTube content creators (producers) exchange content with viewers (consumers). The platform is uniquely focused on building and facilitating a network. Platforms usually don’t own the means of production, but they create the means of connection.
There are 9 different types of platform businesses (A. Moazed & N. Johnson, 2016), which are organized by the type of value that’s exchanged in the platform’s core transaction. Following is the example of worldwide-known platform businesses regarding the platform types.
1. Services marketplace: Airbnb, Agoda, and Grab.
2. Product marketplace: eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon.
3. Payment platform: Amazon Pay, Alipay, and WeChat Pay.
4. Investment platform: money in exchange for a financial instrument e.g. Prosper and CircleUp.
5. Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Tinder.
6. Communication platform: Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat.
7. Development platforms (Maker Platform)
Closed development platform: Fitbit and Tridium.
Controlled development platform: Android and iOS.
Open development platform: open-source and free software e.g. Linux.
8. Content platforms (Maker Platform): YouTube, iTunes, and Instagram.
9. Social gaming platform: Minecraft, PokerStars, and DraftKings.
Now we will look at what is happening in the Lao market and what could be the future trend of the local platform business. Through understanding the available types of platform business, there are 3 main local platform businesses focusing on different types, which could make an impressive impact on Lao societies:
Service marketplace: LOCA
Product marketplace: GOTEDDY
Payment platform: BCEL One Pay, JDB Yes Pay
LOCA started to operate a platform business in 2018 as the same concept as Uber. They made a good initiative on the digital economy in Laos. Meanwhile, GOTEDDY implemented its business as a startup in 2019 and made an incredible change into the local delivery system. The last type of platform business, which actually becomes a foundation for many online transactions between producers and consumers in Laos, is the payment application issued by local banks such as BCEL One Pay and JDB Yes Pay.
In recent years, these available businesses have facilitated and enhanced the living standard of Laotians in a good way. Especially at this moment, the Covid-19 pandemic, they automatically become the best solutions for surviving. We believe that not only the mentioned businesses are striving to use this strategy, but others, too. How the Lao digital economy will be in the future, depending on how local entrepreneurs can foresee an opportunity instead of a threat.
Wanting to capture this opportunity and invest in this up-to-date business model, considering us as your first choice of solutions. Comet Digital Agency’s team is fully capable and expert in mobile application development for many years in the international market before (learn more about us at www.comet.la or on Facebook: Comet Digital Agency). Now, the Comet’s office is established and based in Vientiane Capital. We are ready to work and communicate anytime, forget about the long-distance cooperation issue, and let’s innovate together.
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