If you’re reading this, chances are that you were familiar with — and maybe even used — Rnters. Rnters was a marketplace for people to rent items of all shapes and sizes: from the smallest, like a camera or a speaker, to the largest, like a surfboard.
In fact, the idea for Rnters came from a surfboard: or the difficulty I had in finding and renting one, to be specific. I was in Indonesia, needing a board and some extra equipment, but couldn’t find one that was available just for the days I’d be on the island.
That idea became a fully-fledged startup promoting the circularity of objects or equipment that would otherwise be parked at home. Those who needed them could use them without having to buy them, and those who had them could profit from them. It was a simple, win-win situation for both users.
This had a big impact on the communities where we operate: at the time of writing, we had almost 22,000 users and close to 7,000 items available for rent on Rnters.
A major change in the game
But in early 2020, before Covid and in between two major accelerator programs (Maze-X and Techstars), we started to realize that our product was being used by rental companies in a similar way to a “Shopify for rentals”: companies were using Rnters to have online sales channels and manage their inventory.
We saw that this was an opportunity with a great product-market fit. Our platform was a great starting point to solve the main problems of the rental industry. Both in terms of security, digitization, and setting up online stores. This is what drove the transformation from a peer-to-peer rental marketplace to a platform where companies can manage rental operations and leverage sales through an online store.
Truth is, when you want to achieve real change in the world, and create a greener future, you have to think at scale. And we saw that we could make a more meaningful impact if we help companies transition to a more sustainable business model: one that requires fewer products getting made in the process, saves resources, and cuts down on CO2 emissions.
More and more companies are looking for alternative models to buying and selling: they just need the right tools to enter the so-called Circular Economy. And that’s where Flecto comes in. To support a new generation of people and businesses redefine consumer habits, we’re reimagining ownership for a sustainable future.