EIT Digital-backed startup Rentall raises €1.25m in funding, expands to new markets
A Spanish startup that is changing the way people consume by turning shoppers into renters has built on its early development with EIT Digital and is gearing up for greater international expansion.
Rentall’s solution makes it easy to rent a range of products that people might not always want to purchase – from computers to scooters, and beyond.
For retailers or product suppliers, it opens a new line of business by providing a seamless transition to renting products they might normally only sell. It can also be used to arrange customer financing, making it easy to offer consumers instalment payment plans.
The system is environmentally friendly, reducing unneeded consumption. Products are reused as often as possible, and when they no longer work, they are broken down for parts and recycled, feeding the circular economy.
Complex system enables new way to consume
The user sees an interface that makes it easy for them to rent products – like smartphones, electric motorcycles or scooters, laptops, smart watches, gaming devices and outdoor gas grills – or to finance home solar panels. But the brilliance of Rentall is in the background. The team, with years of expertise in banking and finance, has developed a platform to connect banks, insurers, and buyback companies with creative new financial solutions.
“It’s really a challenge to join the two worlds, the bank – with their complexity of IT systems and questions of how to approach the market – and the retailer, who wants something very competitive and fresh, with a very quick go-to-market to make their life easy,” says Rentall CEO Francisco Carvajal. “Rentall appears in the middle.”
Rentall’s system also integrates insurers, because each product is insured to protect renters and retailers from losses in the case of damage or wear.
EIT Digital has nurtured the growth of Rentall from the beginning. The collaboration with EIT Digital within the “i3 Lifestyle” innovation activity of the Open Innovation Factory helped the startup develop its platform – adding a biometric recognition tool that enables rapid customer identification, fraud management measures and a smart virtual assistant to enrich the customer experience. EIT Digital later took shares in the company, which is now part of the EIT Digital Equity Portfolio.
New investment and expanding operations
As it draws in funding, Rentall is also growing its types of business and partnerships. EIT Digital’s connections also helped the company grow to the point where Rentall could attract their latest investment, company officials say, and those connections are still providing value.
“For our international expansion, we are in contact with potential partners, including working with Finance Innovation, who we met thanks to EIT Digital,” explains co-founder Bertrand Rigaud.
The expansion from Spain into the rest of Europe has already begun in France, with rentals of Nerva e-scooters, and Italy is next in line. This will be followed soon after by expansion into the rest of Europe and then beyond.
“Our plan is to get to the United States in 2026, because the renting-leasing market started there years ago, and it is very mature,” says Rigaud. “It’s a big market and we are sure we can do a lot of business there.”
According to Rigaud, the internationalization work is one area where Rentall will use its new EUR 1.25 million in funding. The funding will also support further development of the platform and integration of new partners, hiring the staff that Rentall needs to grow, and launching an online marketing campaign.
Expanding revenue, partners and rentable items
Along with growing investment, Rentall is growing in the number of rental customers it serves and the types of services it offers.
The total value of insured goods rented through the system expanded from €50,000 in January to €250,000 in September, and with the new types of business they handle, they are anticipating an increase to €500,000 per month by year’s end, Rigaud says.
New products they are developing for rollout soon include financeable technology as a service and a bot that assists in all aspects of sales for solar power systems. “The bot will recommend the best installation and the best payment method, in a very flexible way,” says Carvajal. “It will be an intelligent tool for all the sales representatives for solar” and is developed through an agreement with Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Other partnerships help with financing. To enable a broad range of financing instruments to serve their partners, Rentall has built “a strong ecosystem of Tier 1 banks, with support from Cetelem and Abanca, who were recently joined by BBVA, Sabadell, and Société Générale (SGEF),” says Carvajal.
The rapid growth in all areas of business is helping Rentall achieve its mission, according to Carvajal.
“Our ambition is to be the reference hub in all subscription and rental models and the new pay-per-use style of consumption,” he says.