The concept of sharing idle products and services with others using peer-to-peer services has given birth to a new kind of economy. Uber and Ola are prime examples of success in this kind of collaborative economy.
According to the latest PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) report, this collaborative economy has the potential to increase global revenues from around $15 billion now to $335 billion by 2025.
The sharing economy is growing exponentially in the country. To exploit the market, many peer-to-peer services have come up. RentSetGo, a mobile only marketplace, is a similar kind of peer-to-peer service provider, renting travel-related products to travel junkies, photographers, cyclists etc.
“From our platform, users can rent bicycles, camping and hiking gear and photography equipment. We help people and businesses lend and borrow high-end gear from one another,” says Shruti Ajmera-Reddy, co-founder and CEO, RentSetGo.
In November 2014, Shruti and Sunith Reddy Co-founded RentSetGo. The venture was born out of the need to improve consumers’ buying behavior. It evolved into a platform that allowed users to access products without hurting their pockets. It also makes money from unused products lying idle.
Talking about its sharing economy platform, Shruti says, “We help users to focus on experiences rather than buying more and more stuff. By allowing access to products, a bigger force than buying or hoarding products, we want to help everyone experience the joy of experiential travel.”
Affordability and product discovery is a big plus in the Indian market. RentSetGo is unique in its mobile-only approach and focus on building strength in the travel vertical.
Investment & funding
Till April this year, RentSetGo was totally bootstrapped. It recently raised a friends-and-family angel round. It says the largest amount of money has been directed towards hiring talent to build and grow the platform.
“We have been approached by many players in the market. We have put them on hold as we raised an internal round and focused our energies on traction,” says Shruti.
Rent set go
As a marketplace, the venture focuses both on the supply and demand side. Since March 2015, it claims to have 100% month-on-month growth among users registered on the platform. On the supply side, it has crossed 50% month-on-month growth, with lenders putting up live listings on the RentSetGo app.
“Competitors make the market interesting. Fortunately, the market is huge and most of our competitors are still early in their lifecycle. The market is yet to see a clear market leader,” says Shruti.
Around 10companies are in the P2P marketplace space in different verticals. And most of them are very new, and have come up in the last couple of years.
As of today, the venture has 500 listings across the categories of camping, cycling and photography. It claims to have 200 plus registered users in its closed beta version, and a 1,000 plus user reach through offline and online communities.
“We are in a multi-billion dollar market. We believe we have the team and execution capabilities to be market leaders and set trends in the Indian market. We are very focused on building trust on our platform; hence the app (available on the PlayStore, calledRentSetGo) is open by invite only as of now,” says Shruti.
According to her, the biggest challenge, and asset, for a startup in the sharing economy is trust. A venture’s operations and technology is built around this.
“Our focus is entirely on making our platform seamless and trustworthy. We track user behavior against multiple data points to assign an internal score. This measures each individual’s reputation and creditworthiness on the platform. Every user is allowed to transact on the platform post-verification. This is one of the key reasons why the app is by invite only,” says Shruti.
We are centred around the trust a user can place on the platform and the transaction. We differentiate ourselves by our focus on making sure the community that builds around our platform is trustworthy and genuine transactions takes place.