B2B Platform Study biggest study on platforms in European B2B Download Preview About our Research Lab

Comprehensive Study on B2B Platforms

Platform-based business models are emerging as a new paradigm across industries. Eight out of ten of the world’s most valuable companies operate platforms, as do 70 percent of the unicorn start-ups. After having disrupted information-intensive sectors, like media, e-commerce, and software, platforms are now rapidly entering industrial B2B sectors.

Many of these platforms are digital marketplaces, facilitating transactions between suppliers with buyers. However, platforms offer many more potentials.


To reap the benefits of digital platforms, executives need first to strategically define their role and value proposition in the broader ecosystem. This might also mean expanding their playing field from an enabler or producer towards an orchestrator of a network of different players within the ecosystem.

To better understand the current trends and challenges executives face in the platform economy, we are currently analyzing over 400 European B2B platforms as well as doing interviews with executives. The following page provides a first overview of questions we aim to explore. Our subsequent reports will tackle these questions and provide specific guidance to executives.

Stay tuned.

Collaboration Partners

ESMT Business School

Dr. Hannes Gurzki

Business School ESMT
ESMT Business School

Prof. Dr. Johannes Habel

Business School ESMT

Matthias Walter

Platform Innovation Lab

Sangeet Choudary

Platform Thinking Labs & Co-Author "Platform Revolution"
New study on European B2B platforms

B2B Platforms - Think beyond marketplaces

In our study we researched over 200 B2B platforms in Europe and analyzing different aspects to help executives making the right decisions regarding their platform strategy.

The questions you should ask as an Executive:

  • Will your sector be impacted by platforms after all?
  • Where in the value chain / ecosystem should you look for opportunities?
  • How can I create an ambidextrous strategy – building a platform AND strengthening the incumbent business?
  • Simple transaction-based marketplaces are not sufficient in B2B, so how should my platform create value for your stakeholders?
  • How do you generate network effects?
  • How do you build valuable relationships among stakeholders, based on trust?
  • How do you monetise and build a viable business?

Those themes are just an excerpt of what the reports will cover. In 2020 we will publish multiple in-depth reports together with our collaboration partners of business schools ESMT, Warwick and our expert network.

Initial Report will be published in Q4/2020

About Our Research Lab

Our Methodologies are not only based on true entrepreneurial experience in building platforms together with established companies and startups, but also research in collaboration with leading business schools and universities (e.g. ESMT Berlin, University Warwick, University of Mannheim, TU Dresden, HTW Dresden …). 

Combining in-depth research with profound real-world cases is bringing the best of both worlds together. We often see that other methodologies lack the one or the other side and therefore seem very academic or not well structured. 

The goals of our Research Lab are:

  • Support the development of the most advanced toolset for Platform Innovation (our Kit)
  • Analyse best-practices in building and scaling digital platforms and ecosystems
  • Provide our users with in-depth market analysis to support defining winning platform strategies

If you want to learn more or you want to collaborate, please contact us.


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