The size of the NSW sharing economy grew by $1 billion last year

Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images.

The growing popularity of Uber, Airbnb and eBay saw the sharing economy grow by $1 billion in New South Wales last year, according to new research by Deloitte Access Economics.

Between 2014/15 and 2015/16, revenue jumped 68% from $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion, according to the Deloitte’s latest Developments in the Collaborative Economy in NSW report, commissioned by the NSW government.

Deloitte found that the number of people in the state generating income from the sector doubled over that period to 92,400.

Here’s their breakdown of the key areas of the sharing economy in NSW:

Source: Developments in the Collaborative Economy in NSW. Deloitte Access Economics.

The NSW government legalised Uber in late 2015, offering a $200 million compensation package to the taxi and hire car industry, and since then, a number of global digital players have pushed their way into the Australian market, including Airbnb, which has become a growing problem for legislators and planners grappling with the short-term accommodation market.

Sydney is now the world’s 5th largest Airbnb market following 106% growth in inbound guests over the study period.

Deloitte lists Uber and eBay among the biggest players in what they call the “collaborative economy” and saw a number of new innovation trends emerging, including partnerships between the new digital disruptors and traditional businesses, for example, the partnership between eBay and Woolworths/BigW which allows parcels to be delivered to the supermarkets for shoppers to pick up along with their groceries.

Then existing players such as Uber are leveraging their business with new ventures such as UberEats, which launched in Sydney 12 months ago.

Deloitte noted additional global collaborative businesses expanding into Australia, including New Zealand peer-to-peer lender Harmoney, and UK food delivery service, Deliveroo.

Meanwhile new local businesses were also entering the market, such as Go Buggy and My Country Taxi in regional NSW as part of the ridesharing industry, and Spare Workspace, an office space sharing platform, and Spacer, the storage sharing business.

The biggest growth between 2015 and 2016 was in financial services, which includes lending and crowdfunding. Revenue surged by a massive 345%, with the number of people involved increasing by 164%.

Transportation and automotive services grew by 242%, while goods and redistribution was up 67%, services and labour hire up 57%, and a 55% increase in accommodation services.

New market entrants are contributing to the growth of the collaborative economy. These include businesses targeting regional areas; overseas operators arriving in NSW; and start-ups in niche categories.

NSW innovation minister Matt Kean called the growth in the collaborative economy fantastic news.

“This is a win for consumers, as the booming collaborative economy is disrupting traditional business models, putting downward pressure on prices and providing more choice for the public than ever before,” he said.

The full report is here.