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Kiwi startup announces 2020 launch of rental marketplace app

By Nick Forrester, Wed 15 Apr 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

A new Kiwi start-up company has announced that it will launch its peer-to-peer rental marketplace service later this year.

Mutu will reduce waste and encourage a smaller carbon footprint with its lending service connecting those who want things with those who have them, says the company.

The app, which will allow New Zealanders to lend and rent everyday items, helps in the effort to halt the increasing trend of throwing things away when not used on a regular basis and provides a means for the items collecting dust on the shelf to become useful again.

Inspired by his European travels using peer-to-peer apps to find accommodation and noticing a lack of ability to loan out activity items to do the things he loves, Mutu founder Toby Skilton sees potential in similar businesses worldwide and he hopes to bring this to New Zealand's shores. 

“Mutu will provide a safe and secure space for Kiwis to quickly search, compare & locate items to rent based on budget and location,” says Skilton.

“These items could include outdoor equipment, like surfboards and bikes, electronics, like cameras and drones, and renovation and DIY tools.”

The app, which is still being developed, will incorporate a feedback system similar to Trade Me, and Mutu says all items will be insured up to the value of $1,500.

Mutu users will also earn money by lending out under-utilised items for extra cash. Lenders are able to keep their items and continue to loan them out rather than contribute to the growing landfill challenges in New Zealand. 

“New Zealanders alone create 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year. This is equivalent to 3,200kg of waste per Kiwi, one of the highest levels in the world. 

“Only 28% of this waste is currently recycled. 

“The appeal of our beautiful country for international visitors means tourism numbers will continue to grow once we've rebounded from COVID-19. While tourism is essential to New Zealand's economy, the impact on national waste is undeniable” says Skilton.

“We hope to help decrease these waste numbers by encouraging loaning and borrowing, rather than purchasing new items for one or two-time use.” 

Peer-to-peer marketplace apps are commonplace on mobile phones globally - and the demand is undeniable, says Mutu.

In 2019 rideshare app Uber reported revenues of $3.16 billion for their second quarter, and property rental app Airbnb reports 150 million global users as of August 2019. 

Skilton says Mutu aims to change attitudes towards ownership by encouraging communities to share instead of buy. 

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