Rnters turns into Flecto after €1.2 million funding round

  • ECO News
  • 22 June 2022

The Portuguese startup leaves the product rental business between individuals to focus on companies.

Rnters will leave the product rental business between individuals to focus on companies. The Portuguese startup is now called Flecto and has closed a €1.2 million funding round. The team will triple from the current 13 workers to close to 50 by the end of 2023 and, “very soon”, the business will scale beyond Iberia.

The new capital injection was led by three venture capital firms: the Anglo-Portuguese Mustard Seed Maze, the Swiss Übermorgen and the North American Techstars. In May 2020, in a previous investment round, the startup had raised €200,000.

“Flecto is a new product: we went from a marketplace made for people to rent their items in which booking management was very basic […] to a platform in which companies can manage any rental business,” Guilherme Guerra, one of the startup’s founders, explains to ECO.

The shift in the business model resulted from an experiment with the business market: in early 2020, the then Rnters realised rental companies started to use the platform with consumers and even set up online shops on it. Instead of buying the products and using them few times, consumers prefer to rent them, at a lower price.

“We saw that there was an opportunity and that our platform was a great starting point to solve the key problems of the equipment rental industry,” recalls Guilherme Guerra.

In Western Europe alone, the circular economy market is worth €36 billion. The assessment justifies Flecto’s desire to reach more countries: “very soon we will be in countries like France, Italy and the UK.

The new platform is open to freelancers, small and large companies, who “can manage bookings, clients and inventory or even send payment links to clients”.

Even before the move was announced, there were already over 150 registered customers, providing items such as photo and video gear, sound or light systems, games consoles, computers, drones or bicycles. Rentals can have insurance included, with coverage for the full value of the product.

When the platform worked only for private users, the options were more limited: it was only possible to “add items, take photos and set a price”.

The 13 people who were at Rnters have moved to Flecto. But the number will increase next year: the team will increase to 20 employees by the end of this year; by 2023, “the ambition is to be around 50”.