Renting and sharing is not a new phenomenon and many players in the real estate sector have been doing this for years. But just like the advent of internet has impacted a number of sectors, web apps have also made a difference in the real estate space. In the era of social networks, even complete strangers may be useful. But what if we are referring to something bulky? Or how to trust people you have met for the first time? Rishabh Kapoor’s IRentShare might just be the perfect platform and answers to these queries.
What is IRentshare?
Irentshare is a platform which encourages people to rent/share extra stuff for earning money and helping people get access to goods they otherwise can’t afford/buy. The categories of items offered by the site include books, computers, cameras, furniture, home & kitchen goods, sports goods, musical instruments, travelling equipment etc. In our conversation Rishabh shared more insights on his startup: “IRentShare was born out of the philosophy that people should be allowed to rent/share the extra stuff; through a monetary deposit system. It is a peer to peer renting/sharing platform with renting companies allowing individuals and enterprises to offer goods for rent/share.”
Founding team and the initial concept
The founding team of IRentshare includes Rishabh, Vardhman Jain and Abhishek Ambatipudi . Rishabh and Vardhman initiated the concept two years ago. The idea of sharing resources to solve problems fascinated them and they did try a spin off with some friends for only sharing but due to time limitations and other issues they could not implement it. Later they started working on the business model and met many startup people, insurance personnel, school principals, lawyers, NGOs and decided to tweak the concept in order to meet the Indian standards. Abhishek joined the team three months ago when he found the concept to be feasible and capable of solving a real problem.
Currently Vardhman is responsible for day to day operations, logistics, finance, vendor management etc, Abhishek is the Technical Head and undertakes overall Technology Development and Maintenance and Rishabh looks after overall strategy, PR, hiring and maintenance of the site. Earlier he was working for a solar energy statup, Infinia Solar India, while Vardhman worked with a consultancy firm and Abhishek has work experience in NIC, Hyderabad as a Senior Programmer before joining IRentShare.
IRentShare started in June this year with services around south and central Delhi and are looking to expand further.
How are they different
On being asked how IRentShare is different from other renting/sharing platforms like OLX, Quickr or Rentkart team IRentshare shares “Currently, in India there is no website which combines peer to peer renting/sharing with logistics, legal service to offer a trusted mechanism for transacting goods across the broad categories that we service in”.
The startup offers free home delivery for light weight goods, have tie ups for heavy weight goods, offers cash on delivery, net banking, contracts, legal assistance and are working on providing insurance on expensive items in future. On being compared to Olx, they remark, "there is not enough research available in the legal/logistical space and they aspire to be different by being a website that offers the customer enough information and being more than just a listing space". Take a quick look on how the system works at IRentShare.
Challenges of starting up
Entrepreneurs always face hardships in the process of executing their dream and team IRentshare are no different. From creating a successful business model for a peer to peer sharing/renting platform, to security, legal issues and trust were some of the problems they faced. Team IRentshare agrees it took them time to organize their legalities in New Delhi courts as people were afraid if their product gets stolen or broken.
The startup targets students, professionals who come for short stay/visit and households having large inventory of spare goods along with travellers, gadget freaks and people who require certain goods but can't afford it.
At present their operations are limited to Delhi but they are hoping to scale to other cities such as Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The startup has termed the idea as 'Collaborative Consumption', they are highly inspired by the same and strongly support it. Take a look at their introductory video.