Fats Lama, the net market for renting out belongings you personal, raises $10M – TechCrunch
Fats Lama, the startup that gives a totally insured peer-to-peer rental market for nearly something, is getting a little bit fatter. The London-based firm has raised $10 million in Sequence A funding in a spherical led by Ophelia Brown’s not too long ago outed Blossom Capital, with participation from Niklas Zennström’s Atomico and present backer Y Combinator.
Aiming to do for leases what eBay did for getting and promoting used objects, Fats Lama was conceived in early 2016 after the expertise its founders had renovating an workplace area in London. They discovered themselves spending nearly a 3rd of their price range on what co-founder and CEO Chaz Englander describes as “single-use” objects that have been tough to hire, equivalent to energy instruments, tile-cutters and industrial vacuums.
“The probability was that the majority of those items were lying around unused in the same block we were working in,” he says, “but our only option to hire was to go to a rental shop on the other side of town, during working hours, to pay a premium for commercial hire. That was when we had the first conversations about creating a rental marketplace.”
For Fats Lama to have an opportunity of succeeding the place older rental startups had failed, the workforce discovered that quite a few issues past merely matching provide with demand would should be solved. Conventional rental corporations sometimes require the borrower to go away fairly a big money deposit in case an merchandise is damaged, misplaced or stolen. Likewise, equipment-sharing web sites that don’t require a deposit may be perceived as too dangerous for the lender.
Fats Lama’s answer is to totally insure every merchandise rented for an quantity as much as $30,000, one thing Englander tells me took 9 months to safe and is a serious differentiator from rivals. Debtors are nonetheless responsible for the total worth of an merchandise in the event that they break or lose it, however the insurance coverage will reimburse the lender if there’s a dispute between the borrower and Fats Lama, or if the borrower merely refuses (or can’t) pay. To additional handle this threat, Fats Lama requires customers to go id checks, along with using risk-profiling expertise.
“Put simply, we don’t think it makes sense for people to have to buy the things they only use occasionally. And what we’re seeing, whether it’s environmentally or financially driven, is that globally, people are less and less interested in owning things,” says the Fats Lama CEO. “Fat Lama is connecting people with spare stuff to those that need it. By using a combination of risk-profiling technology and insurance, we’re making it not just possible, but safe and seamless, for anyone to have access to almost any item, potentially within minutes.”
There’s a group side to Fats Lama, too, which is one thing Englander is eager to guard at the same time as the corporate scales. At the moment lenders and debtors hand over and acquire objects in individual, the place they typically share experience on the way to get probably the most out of an merchandise.
“The breadth of rental categories obviously means that we have an incredibly broad user base in terms of demographics,” he provides.
One apparent demographic is inventive professionals, equivalent to DJs, music producers, filmmakers, photographers and artwork administrators, all of whom have “project-driven, often last-minute demands” for area of interest tools. “Many are also sitting on big inventories of gear which they rarely use, from which they’re now generating an income in the thousands,” notes Englander.
In the meantime, after a profitable launch in New York earlier this yr, together with seeing greater than 6,000 objects listed on the location (provide in New York is claimed to be rising greater than 3 times as quick because it initially did in London), Fats Lama is planning to make use of the brand new Sequence A funding to additional develop throughout the pond. As a part of this effort, the U.Ok. startup is hiring U.S. metropolis managers, in addition to investing in its product, engineering and operations groups again in London.