Rentit is helping Nigerians save costs through rentals


Popular television host Steve Harvey made the remark in the course of one of the episodes of his show that every guy ought to possess at least five suits: one each in black, navy, gray, brown, and tan. It appears that the male employees of Techpoint Africa were not aware of the situation.

We found out a short time before the Techpoint Africa awards in January 2022 that we were required to wear suits that were either midnight blue or black. On the other hand, just two people possessed any of these hues.

The number of suggestions increased, and Yinka Awosanya, Lead of Intelligence by Techpoint, was the one who proposed that we rent suits because the majority of people were not interested in purchasing one. As soon as we saw how much the rent would be, it's safe to say the concept died of natural causes. In the end, we decided to go out and purchase brand new clothes.

Products that can be rented with the click of a mouse

The Nigerians have been renting stuff that they have required for a considerable amount of time. It's possible that these will be chairs for an event, a bus to transport people to the event, or a generator to supply power while the event is in progress. On the other hand, renting these items frequently requires being familiar with the service providers, and Rentit seeks to eliminate this bottleneck.

Seun Abimbola did not set out to start a company that would make it simple for anybody in Africa to rent anything, but he has succeeded in doing so. The rented projector had technical difficulties while it was being used at the event that had been organized by a friend. Being ever resourceful, he dialed the number, and someone brought him a projector shortly thereafter.

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In the beginning, Rentit was nothing more than an experiment, if I may put it that way. During a training session that one of my friends was leading, his projector suddenly stopped working. I was present in the room as the instruction was about to get under way. Simply showing my support and being there was all I wanted to do. Because everyone claims to know one guy who knows another guy, it's safe to assume that I'm the one at the end of that chain. I picked up the receiver, dialed the number, and someone brought a projector."

That got him thinking. What would have become of his friend if he had not been there to help him? Was there a place where those who needed stuff, like his friend, could rent them? It's possible that there's a market for assisting people in renting things that they only require for a limited amount of time.

Tayo Adegoke, who would later become his business partner, was one of the students he was taking a class with at the Pan-Atlantic University. They quickly became friends and went on to manage several enterprises together. Naturally, he reached out to him in order to run the idea by him, and soon thereafter, they established a straightforward website in order to test their concept.

After some time had passed, I was considering it. My friend would have been left stranded and unable to carry out his training had I not been present in that room on that particular day. Then, I had the idea that what if we had a website that people could go to if they needed to rent something for a short period of time; all they would have to do is search for it, and they could rent it. Ideally, anything in your immediate vicinity. After that, I gave a call to my business partner and said, "let's do this." We developed a very basic user interface in order to test it.

In the beginning, they only did it as a side project because they were both working on other things at the same time. That was before the COVID incident occurred. They had extra time on their hands and were able to analyze Rentit as a result of the majority of business activity being paused.

“ For many people, the lockdown was the time to fully reflect on their lives. We began by looking at the stats and discussing our predictions for the future based on those numbers. We had a look at what it was that we had been up to most recently. Then we had the thought that perhaps we should put twice as much effort into this. Sometime in 2019, we launched this company, but the decision to go all in wasn't made until sometime in the midst of the lockdown in 2020.

In 2021, Rentit was able to facilitate transactions with a total value of $90,000, paying asset owners on the platform a total of $70,000. The team of twelve people working on the business is dispersed among the four cities in Nigeria — Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, and Port Harcourt — where it is now operational. However, in the next years, there are ambitions to expand to additional cities in West Africa.

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Rentit users who seek to rent stuff and users who post their products as available for rent both contribute to the company's revenue. Users who rent items on the platforms are subject to a cost of 5 percent, whilst users who list their products are subject to a fee ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent when a product they listed is rented on the site.

For instance, the daily rental fee for this Toyota Prado is 70,000 yen, which is equivalent to $140.00. Users who rent it at this price will be charged an additional 10 percent to 15 percent (7,000 to 10,500 yen, or $14 to $21), while the asset owner will be charged an additional 5 percent (3,500 to 7,) of the rental fee.

Abimbola highlighted that automobiles and generators are the most in-demand products on the Rentit platform, despite the fact that suits are among the most often hired items on the platform. Even if there have been some consumers who have wanted assistance, the primary focus right now is on the products.

The market for home rentals is an area that is comparable to that of Rentit; nevertheless, Abimbola disclosed that the firm will only enter the industry when they are convinced that they can make a difference.

I believe that the space still has a lot of room for innovation, and it's something that we're looking at seriously, but I always like to play games in which we have a chance to win. I want to be in a position where I have a clear advantage."

The nature of the competitive arena

Abimbola believes that the company's largest competitors are online marketplaces for old goods, despite the fact that only a small number of enterprises in Nigeria have digitized the process of renting to Nigerians.

"Used markets are generally speaking who we regard to be our most significant competitors. If you are a photographer, for example, and you require a Canon camera, one choice you have is to rent it. Another choice is to buy it. The second option is to investigate the possibility of acquiring a pre-owned one. Therefore, our primary competitors are going to be those that deal in old goods because that is what customers would rather do.

 2 1104A screenshot of Rentit’s website.

There are only a few other classifieds marketplaces in Nigeria besides Jiji, but it is by far the most popular one. Because Rentit has not yet raised funds from investors, it may be difficult for the company to portray itself as a legitimate alternative for short-term rentals. However, a substantial portion of that success can be attributed to the fact that it is significantly backed by investors.

However, Abimbola disclosed that the company is not in a rush to raise capital from venture capitalists. He insisted that the company would consider this course of action when they were confident that it would positively influence their operations.

20 years an entrepreneur

Since he began his career by selling phones, Abimbola has gained some experience that he can share with aspiring business owners.

The overhead cost is one of the aspects of running a business that a lot of people, in my opinion, don't pay enough attention to. I have this belief that you can make it through difficult times as long as you keep your costs in check.

" What I've noticed recently in the IT industry is that people are possibly just pursuing valuation for the purpose of value, or revenue at any cost. In addition, I believe the core aspects of the company are out of whack, which is why, from my perspective, the most important thing is to keep costs as low as possible while simultaneously focusing on increasing income. The true validation of your business does not necessarily come from someone providing financial support for it. The true sign of validation is when repeat consumers pay you money to continue doing what it is that you are doing.

When it comes to recruiting staff for a company, he recommends that companies figure out how they might be beneficial to the prospective employee's career. Additionally, he suggests that would-be business owners make it a priority to investigate the viability of their concepts as quickly as they can.

Running an advertisement on Instagram for one thousand dollars per day is all that is required to validate an idea. Promote your product by running an ad on Twitter. If a stranger who is randomly reading through the timeline notices it, engages with you about it, and wants it, then it is proven that you have something, and then you can expand on that.