Unlike past, young population in India are more keen to switch cities when they get better work opportunity. However, relocating to a new place earlier required significant investment in buying furniture and appliances. But, new age rental platforms have made it easy.
Building and furnishing a great home on low cost has always been everyone’s dream. But, with today’s increasing expenses and expensive products, this is not always possible.
Renting appears to be a more lucrative option when an individual isn’t sure of his/her stay duration in a particular city. Over the past couple of years, renting emerged as a viable option than buying. And, this happened because of online rental platforms such as Rentomojo, Furlenco, and Rentickle.
Delhi-based Rentickle positions itself as a platform for people who are into settling in a new city or are looking for enhancing lifestyles without having a significant dent on their wallets.
“We are in a business of providing lifestyle products ranging from home appliances and gadgets to trendy functional products like furniture to young professionals who are moving across cities for work,” says Amit Sodhi, Co-Founder, Rentickle.
How Rentickle works for end users
The lifestyle renting industry, still a few years ago, was dominated largely by unorganized local shopkeepers who would provide little or no variety with no assurance of quality.
For an end user, who is a new in the city, the company provides trendy furniture on rent starting as low as Rs 99 per month. One can order trendy furniture, appliances, high-end cameras, water and air purifiers on a monthly rent through its online store.
Serving 10,000 customers in two years time
Currently, the company does a few hundreds of orders on a monthly basis across Delhi (NCR) and Hyderabad. According to Amit, the average basket size per transaction hovers anywhere between Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,600 (for a month).
The company claims to have served about 10,000 clients in the past 24 months. Bed and mattress drive maximum transaction for Rentickle.
Differentiation over competition
Rentickle focuses on product quality and offers a compelling value for money proposition, which are the two most important things that set it apart.
“We fabricate our own furniture in dedicated manufacturing facilities and have sourcing and servicing tie-ups with top brands for home appliances, air and water purifiers etc. These products are then made available on a monthly subscription basis to our clients,” mentions Vineet Chawla, Co-Founder, Rentickle.
The company also provides complimentary maintenance to clients, free home delivery and two BHK packages.
Vineet and Amit have a combined experience of 40 years in large corporates at top management level.
Cutting through challenges
“Like any company in a start-up stage, our primary challenges initially were raising capital and building a motivated and committed team,” says Amit.
The lifestyle rental startup had raised $4 million in a round mix of equity and debt funding led by Ajay Relan, chairman of VC firm CX Partners; and ThinKuvate, a Singapore-based VC firm.
Rentickle has an aggressive plan towards spreading its geographical footprint across the country starting 2018. It plans to launch other lifestyle products like baby products and fitness equipment, among several other categories.
At present, subscription or technology-led rental space is at a nascent stage. However, with rising urbanisation and frequent movements of working class from one city to another, the scope of online rental platforms bound to get up.
While over 90 per cent of furniture sector in India is unorganized, only one percent is online.
A Redseer Consulting report outlines that the home furniture industry is a $25 billion market altogether, of which $250 million is online. However, by 2020, the home furniture industry is supposed to be worth $35 billion on the whole, with $700 million of it being online.
According to a filing with registrar of companies, Rentickle has accelerated its growth multifold. During the financial year 2016-17, it has witnessed revenue growth Rs 2.20 crore from Rs 3.97 lakh in the previous financial. The company’s expenses rose to Rs 2.63 crore from Rs 11.51 lakh as compared to previous fiscal. Rentickle incurred the net loss of Rs 42.64 lakh.
In terms of competition, there are some direct and indirect competitors in the space. Currently, Rentickle competes with Bengaluru-based Rentomojo and Lightbox Ventures-backed Furlenco.