After Failing Twice, What Made This IIT-M Alumnus Start His Own Venture Again
Founded by IIT Madras alumni, Geetansh Bamania and Ajay Nain in 2014, Rentomojo has its own story to tell. Startup offers its users online rental services from furniture, appliances, trekking equipment to bikes or cycles. It provides affordable and accessible products without compromising on the quality.
To find out more about Rentomojo and their entrepreneurial journey, Entrepreneur India interacted with Geetansh Bamania, CEO and Founder, Rentomojo.
Taking a plunge
Moving across cities due to my career came with its share of heavy relocation expenses. Due to this, I decided to rent furniture and appliances. Interestingly the inherent margin insights in my role helped me find a huge opportunity into the rental ecosystem, especially for those service class citizens who are always on the lookout for better opportunities and prospects across the globe.
I started my entrepreneurial journey with my co-founder Ajay Nain who was also my roommate in college and a dear friend since our college days.
Through my varied experiences in these years, I've come to believe that entrepreneurship is a habit and we as entrepreneurs tend to solve a problem statement evolving our solution and constantly iterating it in the long run with a lot of patience and persistence. Simply put, this is not something I've always wanted to do but certainly a way of life for the most of us now.
We tie up with our strategic vendors who supply us the assets that we rent out to our users and in return we charge a servicing fee for it. We would be reaching 3500 active subscribers by Jan 2016, currently operational in 4 cities and have more than 5000 sku's under deployment.
Funds rolling in
As soon as we started off we got concerns around the asset heaviness of the business which would be difficult to scale in the future besides the difficulties and risks associated with keeping such a large book to ourselves. When we started going out into the market for funds is when we quickly realized that equity capital would not be enough to fund the heavy demand that we see in the market. This is when we started tying up with our strategic vendor partners thereby creating an asset light marketplace model that caught the investor’s interest.
And soon we managed to raise 13 crores from Accel and IDG apart from smaller rounds to begin with from angels like Gaurav Bamania( IITB, LBS, CFA), Rajeev Chitrabhanu ( MD, JMFL), Nitish (CEO, Nazara Tech) and a few others.
Office culture says it all
We are a strong 110 people team across the 4 cities. It’s a sheer delight to walk in at 12 and see a bunch of enthusiastic folks just having fun at work while actually doing work. Predictability, Empathy, Autonomy, Adaptability, Transparency is what defines us and helps us be in our highest spirits all the time. Most importantly we build a culture of roles and KRA's and not reporting.
The mentor in your startup journey
There have been different mentors at different points and all of them contributed to whatever little I’ve achieved today. The most important mentors have been my parents who unconditionally supported me even during the struggling days of my first venture when I’d quit a lucrative job to pursue entrepreneurship. They taught me a lot about patience and persistence. My brother who was always the soundboard for all my reactions. Best advice that I have gotten from him is to always prepare for the downside and diversify optimistically.
Since renting is essentially a lending or a leasing activity, it’s bound to be termed as an asset heavy business. Our uniqueness comes from the philosophy of building an asset light model in renting.
We are currently not even touching the periphery of the demand that we can achieve. We are currently growing by a good 30-40 per cent month on month and intend to scale to a few more cities and categories this year.