‘Rental equivalent of eBay’ closes $10m funding round
Rental marketplace Fat Lama has raised millions in Series A funding.
The Hoxton-based company, which offers an online platform allowing users to lend things they own, secured $10m (c.£7.17m) in an investment round led by Blossom Capital.
Tech investor Atomico and Y Combinator, an existing investor in Fat Lama, also participated.
The cash will be used to grow the firm’s US user base, following its launch in New York. It will also enable Fat Lama to hire general managers across the US and scale its London-based product, engineering and operations teams.
Fat Lama said its risk-profiling technology has allowed it to develop a unique insurance policy that lets users rent out anything to anyone, wherever they are in the world.
Its aim is to establish itself as the cross-category rental equivalent of online buying and selling giant eBay.
Chaz Englander, CEO of Fat Lama, said: “As consumers, we’re becoming less and less interested in owning things.
“At Fat Lama, we believe that one day, actually owning those things we only occasionally need will be as ridiculous as buying a house every time you want to go on holiday.”
Chaz added: “People can enjoy using items without the financial burden or environmental implications of owning them.”
Blossom Capital founder Ophelia Brown commented: “Fat Lama is truly transforming the way that consumers think about ownership.
“It’s impressive how strong their brand is in the market - rarely do we see this at such an early stage in a company’s life. The platform works in both large cities and remote areas as it’s an easy way for anyone with items to rent to earn a substantial income.”
She continued: “We’re excited to work with such a formidable team and help them expand on their mission.”
Carolina Brochado, partner at Atomico, said of the deal: “With Fat Lama, we have found a much-needed solution to break from the prevailing ‘take, make, use, throw’ cycle of consumerism, towards one that rewards repair and reuse.
“We are thrilled to partner with Fat Lama as they go global.”
Fat Lama’s existing investors include Y Combinator, Greylock Partners, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit and Justin Waldron, co-founder of US game developer Zynga.
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