June 3rd, 2015
The perennial problem of making better use of idle household items could be solved by a new website launched by a Birmingham-based start-up company.
Borroclub is an online marketplace for people to rent out household items to others who live in the locality with 1,000 items anticipated to be listed on the website across the West Midlands before the end of 2015.
When listing items, the lender sets the price per day, plus a security deposit and then, when the item is returned and its condition is confirmed, the deposit is returned.
Both the lender and the borrower can decide whether the item is to be handed over at their home, or if they prefer, Borroclub says it will collect and deliver it.
A recent report by financial services firm PwC stated the so-called ‘sharing economy’ is worth £9 billion globally, anticipated to rise to £230 billion by 2025, of which the UK will account for £9 billion.
Matt Dredger, chief executive of Borroclub which is based at Innovation Birmingham Campus, said: “On average, a drill is used for a total of 12 minutes a year.
“The rest of the time, it’s taking up space in a home or garage and gathering dust. By lending it out to people in the local area, the owner of the drill can make a bit of money, while feeling like they’re actually contributing to their local community.
“In the past couple of weeks, our borrowers have saved over £1,300 and, in the process, over 300kg of CO2 has also been saved.
“There are so many instances when people don’t actually want or need to buy a household item outright, especially if they know their use of it will be very occasional.
“Regardless of the cost of the item, the space it takes up while sitting idle is a key factor for many people, especially for those living in apartments and homes without garages. In practice, borrowing an item also means you can get guidance on how to use it.”
Items featured on Borroclub include a sewing machine that would cost £52 to buy but can be loaned for £5 per day, a jet washer and a hedger trimmer, both with original values of £130, but can also be rented for £5 per day.
Borroclub is enrolled on Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme, which provides business incubation to tech start-ups.
The benefits include up to nine months of free office space, telecoms, meeting rooms and mentoring.