Startup snapshot: Forget about buying stuff and say hello to renting with Rentoza

Rentoza was started by a group of four South Africans who were convinced the stuff hiding in the bottom of their cupboards and in their garages – from appliances to baby equipment – should be paying rent for taking up so much space. The company was recently selected for the Startupbootcamp AfriTech accelerator programme. Co-founder Mishaan Ratan answers our questions.

1. Give us your elevator pitch.

Rentoza leverages the sharing economy in an efficient, safe and cost-effective manner. We allow individuals and businesses to list their lazy assets on the Rentoza marketplace. Customers are then able to seamlessly access these items via a low-cost rental model, which is augmented with a robust screening process and is supported by product insurance.

2. How did you finance your startup?

The four founders have funded the startup to date.

3. If you were given $1 million to invest in your company now, where would it go?

The majority of the funds would be used to further develop the platform and move us from proof of concept (POC) through to minimum viable product (MVP) 1, 2 and 3. A portion of the funds would be used on marketing, both below the line (BTL) and above the line (ATL), to create awareness and drive sign ups on the platform to build a community.

4. What risks does your business face?

The biggest risk we face is not getting enough scale on the product inventory side to match consumer demand.

5. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

Facebook has proven to be the most engaging platform for our marketing.

6. Tell us about your biggest mistake.

Our biggest mistake has been outsourcing the development of the platform outside of the country. What we learnt was that we need South Africans to build the platform because only South Africans can understand the intricacies of creating a product that serves the people of the country best.