INTERVIEW | Talking car-sharing with Sebastian Brokmann of RentMyRide
Can the innovative car-sharing concept work in SA? We spoke to co-founder of RentMyRide Sebastian Brokmann to find out.
Tell us about your business?
RentMyRide is a peer-to-peer platform that offers a solution for short term car rentals and a golden opportunity for owners to earn extra cash when their vehicles are standing idle. Airbnb is probably the best-known sharing economy service and RentMyRide works in much the same way: car owners willing to rent out their vehicles to vetted renters on a short term basis can generate income while renters have the opportunity to select the vehicle they want and use it when they need it.
What is your background?
As an impact entrepreneur, I have taken a keen interest in the sharing economy and experienced first-hand the introduction and early adoption of this growing trend while living in the Netherlands. I founded the fresh fruit delivery service Fruitful Office, expanding it into a market leader in the Netherlands, delivering fresh fruit to more than 100,000 office workers each week. The road led to SA where I saw the potential to influence the sharing economy in a country with public transport challenges and a strong pool of vehicle owners. Here I teamed up as a founding partner to scale RentMyRide.
Why car sharing?
We know SA has a limited formal public transport system and vehicle ownership is hugely aspirational but expensive. There are 10-million active passenger vehicles in the country that, for various reasons, stand idle for as much as 90% of the time. By offering a safe and seamless peer-to-peer rental service we facilitate access to vehicles without huge costs while helping car owners generate income.
What are the challenges to the model and your solutions?
The greatest challenge faced by any business in the sharing economy is changing perceptions and building trust within and between communities. We recognise this and have put the necessary checks and guidelines in place to create a community where both owners and renters can operate in a safe, trustworthy space. Before listing a car owner or accepting a renter, RentMyRide conducts a thorough one-off screening against non-negotiable criteria. We help owners and renters optimise their experience with insurance and roadside assistance and have the transparency of a two-way review system where both sides can offer honest assessments of their experience of car sharing.
More information click to RentMyRide.
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