Startup Sessions


Cycling with Tim Hyer of Rentcycle

Startup Sessions features SF-based Rentcycle, which wants to bring the rental industry online

Innovation series by Chris Caceres
February 4, 2010
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Just a few months ago, Rentcycle debuted its service at our last event.  The startup launched a platform to help rental companies get their products available online for people who might be looking for them. 

So say I was going out of town and wanted to rent a specific type of video camera, I could find that shop that carried that camera, and book it online through the rental shop's Website.  The rental shop's site has Rentcycle's platform integrated making the process pretty straight forward.  As a consumer, this sounds neat, as I don't have to phone all sorts of shops seeing if they have that camera in stock.  And for the rental shop, they could potentially see an increase in rentals since their products could be found more easily. 

As of Thursday, Rentcycle has significantly expanded its offerings with the launch of Rentcycle 2.0.  In a nutshell, this new version has added a marketplace which debuts 30,000 rental stores from the top 350 cities.  So now, instead of searching through Google results, I can go directly to Rentcycle to find and book what I'm looking for. 

Tim Hyer, founder of Rentcycle told me, "rental businesses comprise $85 billion of the national economy."  These range from stores like electronics supplies, to bike shops, to power tools and even tuxedo rentals.  This could indeed turn into something really big for Tim.

Tim had the courtesy to take us into his humble office which lives in his San Francisco apartment, to share what he's working on.  Check out the episode to see how Rentcycle was born, a bike shop in the city making use of the startup's product, and a pretty nifty beer fridge!

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