Furniture, household appliances, and bike rental platform, Rentomojo has raised $2 million in Pre-Series A from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India. Following the round, Venkatesh Peddi and Prashanth Prakash will join the board of Directors. The company will use proceeding towards expansion, hiring, and marketing. Earlier, it had raised seed capital from London-based investors last year.
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The company operates in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, and Pune. With this round, it plans to spread wings to six more cities over the next two quarters. Besides furniture, appliances (kitchen and home utility), it also lets you rent two-wheelers and adventure equipments.
Almost a year old, the startup had earlier raised seed capital from London-based investors. Speaking on the occasion, Geetansh Bamania, Co-founder and CEO, Rentomojo, said,
With urbanization, increasing incomes, and declining savings among the working professionals, we are witnessing the birth of access economy with the advent of Airbnb, Uber, Rentherunway, and the likes. We want our users to get access to a personalized lifestyle without actually owning it. We work as a marketplace and keep this business asset light.
Furlenco, one of the major players in the furniture rental segment, had recently secured $6 million from Lightbox Ventures. However, Furlenco doesn’t follow a marketplace approach. It designs, owns, and holds all the inventory to ensure complete control on quality.
Team behind Rentomojo
Founded by IIT Chennai alumni Geetansh Bamannia and Ajay Nain, Rentomojo follows a marketplace model to keep the business asset light.
Geetansh is a serial entrepreneur and has worked with e-commerce majors such as Flipkart and Pepperfry while Ajay has had a stint at Himalaya Drug company and Daimler.
Bachelors and freelancers who move from one city to another for long projects are potential segments for Rentomojo. According to some industry estimates, the furniture renting space is worth $500 million market (only unfurnished apartments and houses) in India.
The sharing economy is on the rise across various sectors. Right from cabs (carpooling and renting) to apparels, and furniture -- everything is available on rent. Over the past one year, the space witnessed debuts of startups like Wheelstreet, Rentomojo Etashee, SmartMumbaikar, and Rentsetgo among others.
So far the success of IndiaReads and car rental startup Zoomcar are testimony to the belief that sharing or access economy is a big opportunity in India. Till now, Zoomcar gobbled $19 million funding across two rounds.
With this round, Rentomojo will look for fast expansion and compete Furlenco more aggressively. It also competes with bike renting platforms like WheelStreet on the bike renting front. Bachelors, businesses and freelancers prefer renting furniture as buying and moving furniture (while shifting) is a costly affair. The aforementioned segments are driving the wheel of furniture rental platforms and in the future it would be interesting to watch how Rentomojo and Furlenco evolve.