Apart from furniture, home appliances, bikes and trekking gear, the rental platform plans to help you dress up in expensive clothes
Just like itself, online rental platform Rentomojo wants to help you be “asset light”.
So, whether you get bored easily of the furniture in your house or if you simply don’t want to own furniture in a rented apartment, Rentomojo offers you the solution.
For less than US$40 a month, you can furnish your studio apartment with a television set, a sofa cum bed and a couple of bean bags. Throw in another US$40 a month and you’ve got your apartment fully equipped with a fridge, microwave and a washing machine.
“What most of us do, is take a certain portion of our salary and spend it on a particular activity like a part for transport or rent or other activities. We now discovered that a chunk of the working population is actually allocating a part of their salary for furniture and appliances,” Rentomojo Co-Founder and CEO Geetansh Bamania tells e27.
What’s on offer?
Rentomojo offers a wide range of online rental services from furniture, appliances, trekking equipment to motorbikes. It offers packages for the living room, bedroom, kitchen, laundry and lets you customise your furniture according to your needs, be it a single bean bag or a whole bedroom set.
Targeted at the young salaried population that doesn’t want to spend a chunk of their income in owning furniture in a rented accommodation, it also provides daily utility items like a clothes rack, water purifiers, gas stoves, and induction plates ad iron stands costing around INR99 (US$1.5) a month to INR589 (US$9) per month.
“We are giving lifestyle rental access for anybody who is a tenant with a line of sight of 11 months, typically working professionals in the age bracket of 20-35 years,” said Bamania.
Also, for that once-in-a-lifetime trekking trip, you need not purchase a sleeping bag or tent. You can simply rent it on Rentomojo. Or if you want to test out your dedication towards your new year’s resolution of cycling, you can rent a bike for less than US$10 a month.
While it does offer a separate category for office spaces, Bamania says the main focus will always be the retail customer.
The company follows an “asset light” model and operates across Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Delhi. Unlike companies like Furlenco, which own their own merchandise, Rentomojo does not own any of the items available for rent. It has tied up with a few suppliers who want to earn rental income.
The company lets users rent furniture and home furnishings for a minimum period of three months, while for its trekking gear and transportation segment, it can be rented on a per day or per trip basis.
Moving beyond its core business of furniture and furnishing rental business with the latest addition of motorbike rental, the Bangalore-based startup is now looking at ways to stock up the cupboard you rented from them.
So while at present Rentomojo offers online rental services for furniture, appliances, trekking equipment to bikes, high-end clothing is next on the radar.
“We will experiment with clothing, probably expensive clothing, but we want to mould the clothing rental into our line of work,” Bamania says.
Though the plan is still on the drawing board, the company is also looking at inorganic growth options for the segment. “We did speak to a couple of companies in the clothing segment, but still the talks are on, so I don’t want to comment more on that. But, we are looking at acquiring some smaller companies in the rental space mostly outside categories that we are in,” he says.
To sum it up, Rentomojo wants to offer you a complete lifestyle rental solution, wherein you don’t need to carry bulky luggage while moving, only a backpack (which you can also rent from them) will do.
In less than a year since it was founded in 2014 by IIT Madras alumni, by Bamania and Ajay Nain, Rentomojo raised US$2 million from venture capital firms IDG Ventures India and Accel Partners India in November last year.
The company is again on the prowl for its Series B funding for which it is in talks with a few VC firms, but Bamania refused to give details.
“We are again there in the market. We will raise one more round pretty soon by April. We are looking at a Series B. Gotten a lot of inbounds. The next round of funds will be used to build the team and probably grow deeper into the cities we are in,” says Bamania.
Unlike other startups, Rentomojo is not keen on growing ‘too fast, too soon’, rather than expanding to a dozen new cities in a few months, Bamania says for the current year the company plans to reach out to a couple of new cities.
“The purpose of the business is to have some sort of break even. When we look at this business we ask ourselves if we pause as a company and don’t take any external funding, how much time will be able to achieve a break even. That’s what we are aiming at. We don’t see profit as a goal post that’s very far away,” says Bamania.
“Even if we pause right now, with the capital that we have and the kind of funding, it should not take us more than eight to nine months — or, at max, a year — to break even,” he adds.
How it began
Just as a cupboard opened the doors to the mystical land of Narnia, it was a cupboard in Bamania’s rented apartment that drove him into this business. He recalls a rented cupboard in the leased apartment he was staying in that was permanent feature in the house despite change in tenants, giving the supplier a fixed income each month.
“This was a good story for the local rental guy, as he got a fixed income, a certain monthly rental amount each month for four years. I got to think what sort of a sourcing cost he must have achieved at the time of investing in it. Combining all those I thought it was a really nice opportunity, that’s how the whole idea of let’s make it a little more organised,” he says.
The idea, combined with his experience as the head of the furniture business at Pepperfry.com, led to the birth of Rentomojo.
This is not the first entrepreneurial venture for Bamania. In 2012, he founded Click2Skill, which was a community-based marketplace for skill exchange. Then, in 2013, he co-founded Hopemonkey, a crowdfunding platform bringing corporates and individuals together to co-donate to causes they care about.
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