I attended a demo by the KitSplit team at the entrepreneurial pitch event of the Spring 2015 class, “Turning ideas into Reality, Entrepreneurship for Hackers.” It was a pilot class where interdisciplinary teams representing NYU-Poly and NYU Stern composed of graduate and undergraduate students go through a semester to come up with a product. KitSplit had been founded before the semester but the team took advantage of the class to continue developing it.
What is KitSplit?
In essence, it is a NY centric peer-to-peer marketplace to rent creative equipment such as cameras, drones, and filming rigs. It is “the AirBnB” for this type of equipment. It solves an important issue for the creative class of people, connecting companies and people who own gear with those looking to rent. My first thought was, I wish this would have existed when I went to New Zealand. Traveling with a tripod was too much work but buying one in New Zealand was prohibitively expensive. Renting one would have been an excellent option. KitSplit makes the equipment rental process easier, less expensive, and more secure by offering damage coverage for all gear worth up to $10,000.
What problem does it solve?
Renting gear from professional camera rental services has served as a vital resource for many photographers borrowing expensive or niche equipment for a shoot. KitSplit aims to create a less expensive peer-to-peer alternative to online rental services. Local photographers and filmmakers to rent to and from each other, fostering a community between the creative class. It provides an insured and secure platform so both buyers and renters can feel safe. In addition, all members of the site are ID verified, requiring a form of government identification. Renters and owners can review each other.
How does it work?
Those looking to rent can simply browse available gear, set dates to borrow, and then meet up in person to borrow gear. Owners looking to rent their own gear can respond to individual requests and decide who to rent to, and who to skip over. The renter’s credit card is authorized when the renter requests an item. The payment goes through when the owner has confirmed that the transaction has taken place. Payment is verified and processed by Stripe.
Have they gotten any traction?
Not sure how much traction they had. When I attended the demo, they had 50 transactions over the previous 3 months and they were growing at a 70% MoM but that was about 6 months ago. My guess is that they would be doing about 500 transactions a month.