At Parcelly we love the concept of sharing and efficient use of resources, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved along with driving convenience in the marketplace.
We caught up with Fat Lama, a new player in the Sharing Economy Industry, who provides a platform that connects consumers and lets them rent out their belongings to others nearby. Have a read and see why they believe 'Sharing is the future':
1) Tell us a little bit about Fat Lama... What is the concept about and how does it work?
Fat Lama is a fully-insured peer to peer rental platform for ‘stuff’. The idea’s pretty simple - we’re connecting people with spare stuff to others nearby who’d like to borrow it at a daily rate set by the lender.
If you need a set of speakers for a party, you can browse the platform and borrow from someone who has the sound system you need. If you yourself have speakers that you’re not using every day, you can list them on the site and lend them out to others nearby - and you’ll be fully covered by our guarantee.
The daily rental and the availability of the item are up to the lender to set and it’s down to both parties to arrange a convenient time and place for handover and return. We ID-check all users to make sure everyone is exactly who they say they are and we also approve every item that’s listed on the platform.
2) You are called the ‘AirBnB for stuff’... How was the idea born originally?
Our co-founders, Chaz and Rosie, began renovating a warehouse in Hoxton in 2015 on a tight budget and found it nearly impossible to borrow the necessary tools for the job. After the financial sting of having to buy so many of these tools outright, they came up with the idea of Fat Lama, in order to help people rent a drill or other specialised equipment from others nearby - more convenient and, of course, a lot less costly.
3) Millennials are often coined as the “convenience generation” – Would Fat Lama agree? Does your service mainly appeal to millennials or who are your most loyal customers?
Convenience is definitely a massive part of what Fat Lama offers - but in our experience, the desire for ‘on-demand’ isn’t confined to the millennial generation. Borrowers on our platform across age brackets are drawn to the fact that they can rent exactly what they need outside of regular rental shop working hours and (potentially) from someone on their street.
4) Fat Lama is a fairly young platform – how do you see it developing across the UK and what other markets may be on your radar in future?
We started developing the platform just over a year ago, but only actually launched properly in November last year. The platform’s growing at a (pleasantly) surprising rate and we’re looking to expand into more cities in the UK and beyond in the near future.
5) Your rental items are quite focused on electronics/technology it seems - which innovations or new technologies/services do you see on the horizon that will allow you to offer your customers an even better service?
Since launching, we’ve been continuously improving the platform to make it an even better service for our customers. We’ve just added a rating system that lets you rate your experience of lending/borrowing with another user.
We’re also looking to build an app to make renting easier on the go! And, for the tech-heads out there, we’re also getting pretty excited by how blockchain could inform the future of peer-to-peer stuff-sharing.
6) How do you see the sharing economy develop in future? Do you believe personal possessions are on the out?
We’re interested in the idea that consumers have reached “peak stuff”. The evidence tells us that we’re spending less on physical goods and instead opting to spend our money on things that enhance our experiences. Fat Lama offers people access to higher quality cameras or instruments whilst also saving them from having to make a costly purchase on something they may not use more than a couple of times.
7) Last but not least, are there any limits to what people can rent out? Where do you draw the line?
You can list almost anything on Fat Lama - from furniture to fondue sets and bike hire. We draw the line at potentially dangerous items (chainsaws, guns, chemicals etc.) and we don’t insure vehicles, properties, animals or people!
by Krishna Halai
A big THANK YOU to Fat Lama from the team at Parcelly and we can't wait to see what the future of sharing further has 'in store' for us...!