Online rental company Rentuu aims to cut waste and increase storage space for users by allowing them to rent anything from patio heaters to kettles via its website. Here, the CEO explains how he got the idea funded and how he is growing the business.
What are the details of the company, when was it founded and why? What’s your background and what’s the vision of the company?
Rentuu was founded in May 2017. Back then, the idea for Rentuu came to life when I used to work in business operations at various companies and had to deal with suppliers, day-in, day-out. I quickly realised that there was no centralised way of keeping track of products, prices and supplier information whilst sourcing equipment and furniture for the business, and I ended up creating my own database on a humble spreadsheet. This ultimately became the framework of the Rentuu website and expanded from there. Since then, I’ve created a user-friendly and familiar environment on the website that customers recognise and are comfortable with.
Our vision is to see Rentuu as the to go place for equipment rental worldwide. We want to be the preferred online rental partner for suppliers globally, offering complete transparency to our customers and suppliers, as well as the best industry insights thanks to our analytics, software and support.
How much initial investment did the company need to start and where did it come from? What was the money used for and how was the product developed?
I started the company with my own savings and growing thanks to initial support from suppliers and clients.
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What marketing did the company employ to maximise exposure?
Marketing for us is still all about users experience, we are learning and adapting as quickly as possible. We’re using classic online marketing tools like Google Ads, Bing and Facebook to more controlled sales tools to create a B2B partnership structure.
LinkedIn has been very useful for us as we are a majority B2B platform and credibility for our clients is key. This is one of the reasons why we always want to deliver a “more than excellent service”.
Talk about the company’s growth trajectory, from being founded to establishing revenue, to covering costs, to moving into profit.
We have been growing 20 per cent month-on-month for the last year and we are planning greater growth for the next 12 months.
Today we operate across the entire UK, delivering even in Belfast and Cardiff. We’ve also expanded the business in Republic of Ireland two months ago.
The number of rental companies joining our network is growing exponentially every day, with more rental companies seeing the value in our software and SaaS solution that can save more than 35 per cent of their time and prevent any errors. For our customers, the SaaS inventory management software is for free and can help grow their business adverting on Rentuu.
The number of products have also been increasing, today almost 2,000 products are hosted on the website and this will grow to over 3,000 in the coming months.
However, this is relatively speaking, still the beginning. In the next six months, we are planning to on board at least 300 rental companies and launch in the Netherlands by the fourth quarter of 2018 and looking to expand in other European countries.
How important is an inspirational figurehead to a scale-up company?
We are developing, learning and growing every day. I am going through a learning process as everyone else and I really think there is always a lot to learn. As a business, we have clear core values one is in Milanese (Milan Dialect) “se sta mai coi man in man” there is always something to do and we need to be resourceful.
Books like “Lean Start-Up” helped me a lot, and previously working in an environment like Rocket Internet gave me the direction. But, support from my team and co-workers from Dennis Helderman to the rest of the team has been invaluable.
The importance of the team is vital, I’m trying every day to find talented people that want to join a start-up because they really understand the potential and what we’re trying to achieve.
What specific advice would you give to scale-up companies looking to build their company to exit?
Rentuu is still a young project and as a team we have one goal, no planned exit at the moment. We want to make equipment rental hassle-free by taking it into the digital age. Making it easier for rental companies and our clients from event planners, conferences centres, hotels managers etc.
As a piece of advice, I would say, keep listening to your users and adapting to what’s happening around you.