By Madhav Chanchani
MUMBAI: Online home appliances and furniture rental startup RentoMojo has raised Rs 13 crore from venture capital firms IDG Ventures India and Accel Partners India, indicating venture capital investors' interest in the sharing economy space is picking up. Founded by IIT-Madras graduates, the startup recently ventured into the transportation segment by launching motorcycles and bike rentals. The startup was founded in November last year by Geetansh Bamania, who has worked with etailers such as Flipkart and Pepperfry with Ajay Nain, who has had work experience with Himalaya Healthcare and Daimler-Mercedes Benz. RentoMojo currently has a team of about 50 people with operations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Pune.
RentoMojo said that it currently has around 2,000 active subscribers on the platform with a target of reaching 6,000 by March next. "We are growing at 40-45% monthon-month," said Bamania.
Besides offering items such as beds, microwaves, television, tables and water purifiers on rent, RentoMojo also gives combined packages on items.
"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.
RentoMojo does not own any of the items that it puts out on rent, instead tying with a few suppliers who want to earn rental income. This model attracted IDG Ventures India to the business model. "They are very clear that they want to build an asset-light model," said Venkatesh Peddi, executive director at IDG Ventures India.
Another startup in the space which has got funding is Furlenco, which is focused on the furniture market and has raised `38 crore in funding from Lightbox Ventures, earlier this year. Unlike RentoMojo, Furlenco owns the furniture that it rents out as supply continues to remain a challenge in this industry. Several other categories in the sharing or access economy have attracted funding. Apparel rental startup Klozee raised funding from Tracxn Labs, while Flyrobe is also said have raised venture capital funding. Online home rentals startup NestAway also raised Rs 76 crore from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global and etailer Flipkart.
VCs see the number of consumers participating in the sharing economy growing with increasing urbanisation and proliferation of startups addressing this problem.
"We see, as India as an economy grows, people who are in the access in the economy will only grow. If we draw parallel from developed economies, areas like furniture rental and accessories should be close to 10% of the overall offline market," said Peddi of IDG Ventures, which is also a seed investor in NestAway.