Our startup of the week is Fat Llama! A platform for renting almost anything and everything, from cameras to campervans and more. The startup is helping to promote borrowing as a popular alternative to buying; enabling borrowers to use better items, meet new people, and save the world by reducing demand for mass-manufacturing.
Not only does Fat Llama offer access to various items at a lower cost to buying, it also helps lenders to make money – some taking up to £8,000 a month from both lending and selling their possessions on the platform.
Fat Llama was founded in 2017, inspired by difficulties the co-founders faced when developing a co-working space.
Co-founders Chaz Englander, Rosie Dallas and Owen Turner-Major all left their jobs in 2015 to build a co-working space in London. During renovation of the space, they struggled to borrow necessary tools for the project, and often had to buy these items outright.
After thinking of how much borrowing items could’ve lowered the project’s budget, Fat Llama was created – helping people access a range of different items without having to buy them. The startup state:
“We believe in getting people to work together to make the world a more efficient place for everyone. So we’re making it quick and easy for people to share their belongings. Our dream is a platform where all goods – from the everyday to the abstract – can be borrowed within minutes.
Popular categories on the peer-to-peer platform include Audio Visual, Campervans, DJ Equipment, Drones, Film & Photography and Video Projectors. So far, the company have raised $13.1 million from investors such as Atomico, Blossom Capital, Y Combinator and Greylock Partners.
Keeping the NHS Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic
Amidst the rising cases of coronavirus in the UK, Fat Llama have recently partnered with eBike retailer Fully Charged, giving NHS workers free access to eBikes so they can avoid public transport and get to work safely.
Fat Llama help to verify each NHS worker who applies for the scheme, as well as providing retailers of the eBikes “an insurance-backed guarantee” against any loss, damage of theft. Once the key worker has been verified, they will then be assigned a bike for a loan period of three months. Co-founder and CEO Chaz Englander comments:
“Since the coronavirus outbreak began, we have been working on ways we can support members of our community by getting them items they need as quickly as possible. Working with Fully Charged and other retailers on the eBike scheme allows us to put our technology to good use and help the outstanding NHS workers we are all so proud of.”
NHS workers who want to get involved can contact Fully Charged directly – promo.fullycharged.com/nhs-support.