Why Buy When You Can Rent? Rentcycle Tackles The $85B Rental Market

Founders of OpenTable, Netflix and Top Investors Endorse Product Rental Marketplace

Aug 04, 2011, 11:25 ET from Rentcycle

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rentcycle, the largest online rental marketplace announces two key advisors joining its team: Marc Randolph, founder and visionary behind Netflix and board member at BookRenter.com, and Chuck Templeton, founder of restaurant reservation service, OpenTable. As Rentcycle's strategic advisor, Mr. Randolph brings extensive expertise in online rental platforms to enhance Rentcycle's influence as the premier marketplace for renting products online.  Joining Rentcycle's board of directors, Mr. Templeton applies the OpenTable business model to another offline industry, just as he's done as chairman of GrubHub.  Both leaders will position Rentcycle as the trusted destination for consumers to rent anything from local businesses on the web.

"I am really excited by the team, the business model and the size of the market.  I think it is a winning combination," says Chuck Templeton about joining Rentcycle's board.  "Not only can it make a lot of money, it has a positive environmental impact.  By renting, and not buying, you save money, don't need to store things at home and you always have access to the things you need, when you need them.  Bringing small businesses online is an exciting challenge and I look forward to contributing to the team."

These appointments come as Rentcycle closes a $1.4 million round of funding.  The financing was led by Collaborative Fund, a firm focused on investing in startups that shift the economy from hyper-consumption to collaborative consumption—a movement pioneered by companies like Netflix, ZipCar and Airbnb.  Unlike many popular collaborative consumption companies that are building peer-to-peer communities, Rentcycle has made a strategic decision to focus on the B2C rental industry, an $85 billion market.

"Rentcycle has the opportunity to change the way society consumes," says Craig Shapiro, founder and CEO of Collaborative Fund.  "The groundswell around paying for access instead of ownership makes this a ripe time for renting to become a viable alternative to buying.  Rentcycle introduces the technology required to bring an offline industry online and make renting easier and more efficient for businesses and consumers."

Also participating in Rentcycle's financing round are funds Andreesen Horowitz, SV Angel, Founder Collective, and Amicus Capital, as well as notable angel investors including Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and chairman at Yelp, and Farhad Mohit, founder of Shopzilla.

"Marc Randolph and Chuck Templeton created two of the most powerful consumer web brands by matching basic consumer needs with creativity and vision.  We have a similar mission at Rentcycle and are fortunate to have such seasoned entrepreneurs contributing to our success," says Tim Hyer, CEO of Rentcycle.  "In addition, our investors carry rich backgrounds in e-commerce, marketplaces, local commerce, online-to-offline and collaborative consumption.  For the business we are building at Rentcycle, I can't think of a stronger group to have on our side."

About Rentcycle

Rentcycle launched in 2010 and is dedicated to helping consumers search, compare and rent anything online.  Rentcycle provides any store that rents items, from tuxedos to bicycles, with the tools to move their business online, leaving behind paper or server based inventory systems widely used today.  The company serves the product rental industry, an $85B space, and hosts listings from across the United States.  Rentcycle, with offices in San Francisco, California, is a private company that is funded by prominent Silicon Valley investors.  To learn more about how to use Rentcycle for all of your product rental needs, please visit http://www.rentcycle.com.

SOURCE Rentcycle