A brand new umbrella-sharing startup is increasing in New York Metropolis — and says it can do for umbrellas what Citibike did for bicycles.
Rentbrella, an app that was first launched in Brazil in 2018, is organising automat-like kiosks stocked with 100 umbrellas every throughout the Huge Apple — and leases are free for the primary 24 hours.
Beneath the Citibike-like system, New Yorkers use Rentbrella’s telephone app to scan codes that enable them to unlock and return umbrellas at completely different kiosks — a service aimed toward commuters who discover themselves in a pinch and don’t wish to shell out $10 or $15 for a bodega parasol, in accordance with co-founder Freddy Marcos.
“Our mannequin could be very easy” Marcos instructed The Submit. “They take an umbrella, they go house, then the subsequent day they return it.”
If clients don’t return the umbrella inside 24 hours, they’re charged $2 for the second day and one other $2 for the third day. In the event that they nonetheless haven’t returned the umbrella after 4 days, they’re charged $16 and might hold the umbrella ceaselessly.
Rentbrella isn’t the primary umbrella sharing startup to enter the storm.
In 2016, an organization referred to as BrellaBox went on Shark Tank to drift the thought of renting high-end umbrellas at a charge of $1.50 for the primary 12 hours— an concept that businessman and host Kevin O’Leary dismissed as “perhaps the worst thought I’ve ever heard.”
And in 2017, a Chinese language startup referred to as E Umbrella lost nearly all of its 300,000 umbrellas within a week of its launch. Not like Rentbrella, E Umbrella didn’t have kiosks to retailer the umbrellas and didn’t cost customers a price in the event that they didn’t return leases.
“We’re very completely different from E Umbrella,” Marcos insisted.
Since Rentbrella positioned its first machines in New York this October, about 98 p.c of consumers have returned their umbrellas inside 24 hours, in accordance with Marcos. The corporate at present has 3,500 umbrellas in 35 kiosks throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn with plans to get to 100 stations early subsequent yr, the founder stated.
Since occasional $2 charges don’t translate right into a deluge of money, Rentbrella plans to earn a living by promoting ads on the umbrellas.
It’s a mannequin that Marcos stated has labored in São Paulo, the place the corporate has practically 400 stations and is popping a revenue thanks largely to advertisements from a medical insurance firm referred to as Unimed.
Rentbrella doesn’t have any sponsors in New York but however plans to begin promoting advert area when it reaches 100 stations, in accordance with Marcos. And whereas the stations are at present largely concentrated in Manhattan workplace and residential towers, the founder stated he would like to ultimately place them in subway stations throughout the 5 boroughs.
Rentbrella says it at present has partnerships with actual property firms together with WeWork, Braun Administration, Moinian Group, Tishman Speyer, Beacon Capital, Chetrit Group, Meringoff Properties and Feldman Realty Group.
Rentbrella plans to launch in London in early 2022 and want to develop to different cities within the US and Europe, Marcos stated. The corporate is funding the growth with about $7 million from backers positioned largely in Brazil, together with household workplaces and enterprise capital funds, in accordance with the founder.