Why spend money to own when you could rent? Check out the online rental startup landscape

Renting cars, designer clothes, furniture, electronics and even heavy equipment has become very easy. Chances are most of you have already used an online rental service. Activity in this sector is only increasing. Just last two years have seen funding worth $700 million! Here are the most recent key highlights of the online rental sector curated by research experts at Tracxn who have tracked 300+ startups in the sector.

Notable investments of 2015
Pley (rental for LEGO sets) in the ‘Gaming’ sector obtained $10 million Series B funding in February 2015.

The Black Tux (rental for tuxedos) is making waves having raised $15 million Series A funding in January 2015.

Chinese car rental eHi garnered maximum funding of $150 million in May 2015.

Funding data

  • The online rental sector is characterized by no steep activity, yet has received steady funding since 2012. Over $1 billion have been invested.
  • 2014 witnessed seven $10 million+ funding rounds, and 2015 has already seen two $10 million+ rounds and one $150 million+ round.
  • Reocar, Yongche, Chegg, RentTheRunway, Pley, TheBlackTux, iCarsclub, RelayRides, FlightCar and eHI have a combined funding of $500 million +.

Top sectors in online rentals
Fashion, transport and books are the top funded and relatively mature sectors in online rental. Adventure and heavy equipment rentals are the upcoming sub-sectors.

In transport, B2C car rental is the majorly funded sub-sector. China’s Reocar, India’s Zoomcars and America’s Zipcar are leading names in this sub-sector.

P2P car renting is a new trend reflecting the sharing economy wave. FlightCar and Getaround from the U.S, and Drivy from France are taking the lead in P2P.

Online rental — Books

Online book rental witnessed a sharp decline in funding activity. Chegg, BookRenter and CampusBookRenter account for majority of the funding.

An early pioneer of the book rental segment — Chegg — which started in 2007 attracted majority of investment during the years and went public in 2013.

Online rental — Fashion

Funding in the Fashion rental space has grown rapidly in the last few years. The sector is dominated by luxury horizontals. Rent the Runway and The Black Tux are the top players. The Black Tux, an online rental for tuxedos raised $15 million in Series A in January 2015.

Sectorwise maturity

Of the 300+ startups, 126 companies are still in their early stages of funding.

Upcoming online rental sub-sectors

Boats and Heavy Equipment are the upcoming sub-sectors of which boat rental is majorly funded. P2P boat rentals dominates this sub-sector. Boatbound has attracted funding from top investment firms 500 Startups and Expansion Venture Capital.

Heavy Equipment witnessed drastic increase in investment in 2015, led by EquipmentShare and Getable. B2B Heavy Equipment Rental is the most funded sub-sector.

Toys rental is yet another upcoming sub-sector. Pley obtained $10 million Series B funding in February 2015.

Sectors and investors

Transport, fashion and heavy equipment are the most funded sectors. Transport and fashion have attracted top investors such as 500 Startups, Y Combinator, FundersClub and others. In the upcoming sub-sector Heavy Equipment too has garnered their attention.

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