Around 2008, Shailendra Singh, the then MD of Sequoia India opted against investing in online retailer Flipkart. Two years later, in 2010, John Greathouse, partner at Rincon Venture Partners, passed up a chance to back ride-hailing company Uber.
Today, these two missed opportunities have a combined valuation north of $100 billion. Flipkart, valued at $21 billion, is synonymous with Indian e-commerce. Uber, with a valuation of $82.4 billion at the time of its recent IPO, is the flag-bearer of the sharing economy. Wedged between these two spaces, though, is the amorphous and growing shape of the rental economy.