Rentcycle, an online rental marketplace for businesses, announced Thursday that it has raised a $1.4 million round of funding led by Collaborative Fund. Also participating in the company’s first round of institutional funding are Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Founder Collective and Amicus Capital along with angel investors Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and chairman at Yelp, and Farhad Mohit, founder of Shopzilla.
The new capital has been secured just one week after we uncovered that Rentcycle had raised a $300,000 tranche of the full $1.4 million round.
(It’s worth noting that Rentcycle was the winning startup at Vator Splash SF in Febuary 2010. And, if you didn’t know, the next Vator Splash SF is right around the corner: there’s still time to join the competition or buy tickets to the event.)
Rentcycle also announced today that Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph and OpenTable founder Chuck Templeton have joined its team as advisors. It’s a perfect fit: Randolph has over a decade of experience in operating an online rental platform and Templeton’s entire business model is based on bringing an offline industry--restaurants--online.
With fresh new funding and a couple highly knowledgeable advisors at the helm, Rentcycle is poised to dominate the online rentals space. On the site, businesses can list their wares available for rent, from formal attire to wedding supplies to snowboards, surfboards and beyond.
"Rentcycle has the opportunity to change the way society consumes," says Craig Shapiro, founder and CEO of Collaborative Fund. "The groundswell around paying for access instead of ownership makes this a ripe time for renting to become a viable alternative to buying. Rentcycle introduces the technology required to bring an offline industry online and make renting easier and more efficient for businesses and consumers."
As Rentcycle itself notes, it has specifically chosen to distinguish itself from many other peers in the “collaborative consumption” space (think Airbnb) by shunning the peer-to-peer model, instead focusing on the business-to-consumer rental industry. Rentcycle says it’s an $85 billion market.