Be ready to hire people with more experience than you

Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for just about anything

Please introduce yourself and your startup Fat Lama to our readers!
Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for just about anything. We insure users to lend out their belongings to others nearby – anything from bikes to video projectors, cameras to campervans. Lenders are able to make a passive income from their underused equipment; borrowers avoid unnecessary purchases or save a whole lot of money against the rates of ‘traditional’ rental shops.

How did you get the idea to Fat Lama?
In 2016, we left our corporate jobs to go and create a co-working space in East London – we spent two months converting a warehouse on a very minimal budget. During that time, we found that we had to spend a lot on items we were only using once – we probably “wasted” up to £5k on unnecessary purchases, from industrial vacuum cleaners to tile-cutters to power tools. The worst part was knowing that a lot of people in the same block probably owned these things. We wanted to create a platform which enabled items to pass freely, quickly and safely between people, whilst making and saving them money in the process.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
For all sharing economy marketplaces, trust is obviously a factor. As for Fat Lama specifically, our users are often renting out things that they value the most dearly. A filmmaker’s camera is their livelihood; a cyclist’s road bike is often their pride and joy. So, to communicate that there’s now a safe way to rent these out is one obvious challenge to begin with. We realised how vital it was to secure a robust, innovative insurance policy for lenders – so that was exactly where we started.

Who is your target audience?
What’s a little unique about our platform is that, contrary to the ‘start niche’ methodology adopted by many startups, we’ve always wanted it to be used by anyone to rent anything. Having said that, there are certain communities for whom it’s really taken off. It makes a lot of sense for creative professionals – photographers, musicians, filmmakers, art directors, event managers… Especially when starting out, these individuals can often be asset-rich whilst on relatively low salaries. A sharing platform like Fat Lama allows them to unlock some of those assets to provide a pretty significant passive income stream. We’ve got lenders earning well over $4k a month in lender income alone. And on the other side of the coin, creatives are saving thousands too – besides avoiding unnecessary purchases, the money saved against the hire rates offered by ‘traditional’ rental shops is huge.

What is the USP of your startup?
We’re the only platform in the world which insures you to rent out just about anything you own!

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Do founders have typical work days?

Where do you see yourself and your startup Fat Lama in five years?
With developments in blockchain tech and The Internet of Things, we believe in a future in which the things we own will be in some way connected to the internet. We want to help define a new way in which we circulate products more efficiently.

What 3 tips would you give other Startup founders on the way?
1. Anything is possible
2. Be ready to hire people with more experience than you
3. Seek investment from people with the best and most relevant expertise

More information you will find here

Picture Fat Lama Founders Left to right: Chaz Englander (CEO), Owen Turner-Major (CTO), Rosie Dallas (CMO).

Thank you Ryan Bilak for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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