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It’s no longer just bikes and electric scooters that you can rent on the streets. This Brazilian startup—which has just hit the streets of London after doing the same in Sao Paulo and New York—came up with a simple umbrella sharing idea, where you don’t even pay if you return it within 24 hours. They already have 500 stations and 50,000 umbrellas in operation.
Rentbrella co-founder Freddy Marcos answered Contxto’s questionnaire.
In simple terms, what is Rentbrella?
Rentbrella is a company that develops sustainable solutions through technology and experience. It’s the world’s largest umbrella sharing company, with 500 stations and 50,000 umbrellas spread out across São Paulo, New York and more recently London. Rentbrella offers a seamless app experience, so users can pick up an umbrella in their nearest station and return it to any station across the city, enjoying 24 hours of free use.
How is it different from others who have tried this idea before?
People share bicycles, cars and even clothes, but the possibility of spreading umbrellas around the city for free was new in the world back when we started. We can improve mobility, sustainability, and be an Out-of-home media vehicle without charging the final consumer in the first 24 hours.
How sustainable is it?
It is estimated that 1.1 billion umbrellas are discarded annually around the world. Additionally, 1.4 billion umbrellas are produced worldwide. Sharing this asset allows people to have access to an umbrella whenever they need it and reduces the amount that needs to be produced and consequently discarded. Furthermore, due to the decrease in the use of cars, on rainy days, we reduce emissions of 5.7 tons of CO2. With our solution, people can help the world without paying and companies can finance the change.
What accomplishment of the company makes you most proud?
We are very proud of our expansion of being in three countries (Brazil, USA and UK). To see that the whole world is concerned about the future and sustainability and that we can promote, facilitate and encourage this change on the part of companies in all countries where we operate.
Tell us a startup or company in Latin America that you admire.
We got a lot of inspiration from Gympass, one of the few Brazilian companies that managed to go international successfully. They managed to change the way people use the gym and care about their health in multiple countries.