December 6, 2019

A startup is taking inspiration from scooter companies Bird and Lime to rent blenders to space-strapped New York apartment dwellers

Tulu _ Oskar

TULU, a one-year-old Israeli startup, partners with landlords to provide rentals via app for anything from folding chairs to VR headsets.

TULU has launched in a New York building, its first location outside of Tel Aviv, Israel. The company wants to expand to 40 buildings in New York by March.

The startup is betting that people will turn to on-demand rentals instead of outright purchases in order to save space.
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Average apartment sizes have been shrinking, and the unstoppable year-end force of holiday gift-giving threatens to fill the, to the brim with new appliances and gadgets.

TULU, a year-old Israeli startup, offers a solution: trading ownership of household items for rental. TULU partners with landlords to provide anything from folding chairs to VR headsets for rent from a room that’s accessible with an app.

TULU said it has launched in a New York building, its first outside of Tel Aviv, Israel. The company wants to expand to 40 buildings in New York by March, cofounder and CMO Yael Shemer said.

Shemer noted that scooter startups Lime and Bird were major influences, while CitiBike’s model organized around hubs echoes TULU’s rental-rooms.

“It doesn’t make sense for everyone to own a drill, vacuum, iron or printer. We don’t want to waste money and don’t have room to store them,” Shemer said.

TULU’s first New York location is in Oskar, a 164-unit rental building on the border of Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards operated by the Moinian Group. The room is accessible around the clock, and tenants in the building can rent items for a few dollars an hour. There is no membership cost other than renting in the building, but users can purchase a daily pass, and a subscription for unlimited use is in the works.

To be sure, some apartment buildings already offer chairs and tables for tenants when they have a party or event, and the rental model has been gaining popularity in retail products. Both Lowes and Home Depot offer power tool rentals, while other companies provide carpet cleaner and wet-dry vacuum rentals. Where TULU separates itself is that it is on-demand, in a tenant’s building, and focused exclusively on household items — think the newest model of Dyson instead of an industrial wet/dry vacuum.

Coliving, or residential rentals that trade private living space for shared common areas and more amenities than typical apartments, is also attempting to tackle increased density by sharing between tenants. Two of the largest European coliving companies, Quarters and The Collective, have recently expanded to the US.

While the phrase “sharing economy” has become commonplace in massive businesses like transportation and real estate, some of the biggest names have had a rough year.

Uber’s share price has plunged since the ride-hailing company’s initial public offering, and WeWork’s IPO failed entirely, as both companies grappled with wide losses and an unclear path to profitability. Coworking has …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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