Our goal is to give everyone instant access to all the stuff in their neighborhoods. The neighbor’s cordless drill; the barbecue down the street. For the last three years, Peerby has been making a strenuous effort to contribute to a world where sharing stuff is a serious alternative to buying new. Because by consuming less, we can make a positive impact on the huge climate challenge we face.
#WORLD LEADER IN SHARING STUFF
With active sharing communities in the Netherlands, Belgium, and twenty more European and American cities, Peerby is the world’s leading platform for sharing things. The world leader in terms of the number of different things on our platform, the number of participating members, and the frequency of sharing between members. It's not just us who says so. The New York Times does too.
According to Wired, we are one of the “hottest startups in Europe,” and we are in 34th position on the global list of exponential of exponential organisations.” That puts us on the same list as Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, and Twitter. But we are not there yet — we want to go global. We want to have a worldwide effect when it comes to sharing things. And you can make the difference. Join us by becoming a shareholder in a sharing platform.
#HOW IT STARTED
As a result of a fire that destroyed his house a few years ago, Daan Weddepohl lost all of his belongings. Daan had to rely on the people around him. He discovered two things —people really enjoy lending each other a hand, and when we connect with each other, there is more than enough. The idea for Peerby was born.
#LABORATORY FOR THE SHARING ECONOMY
Peerby is a real-life laboratory for the sharing economy. With a team of fifteen very ambitious people, we strive to develop smarter ways of consuming. Behaviors that help us reduce the use of resources, CO2 emissions, and waste. We do this through ongoing technical, social, and logistical experiments, which we use to help us discover how we can shape the world of tomorrow.
#OUR AMBITION: FROM THROWAWAY SOCIETY TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY
We have a dream — of a global community, a logistical, social, and economic network that has the strength to bring about a change in the way people consume. A change away from planned obsolescence towards a world of consumer goods that are optimized for quality, sustainability, and shared use. We aim to move towards products that are no longer designed for individual consumers, but products that can be shared between people in a smart community using new technology. Products that will be judged on performance. That way we stimulate consumers and producers to buy and to make products that are good: good for humans, good for the planet, and good for businesses.
#A WORLD OF ABUNDANCE
We live in a world of abundance and surplus. The rooms in our houses are largely empty, our cars are parked 92% of the time, and our things gather dust in sheds, closets, and attics. We already have everything we need. All we have to do is connect with each other.
The internet and mobile technologies make it ever easier to share. What started with information, music, and movies is now spreading rapidly to the physical world. Houses, cars, and many other things are becoming part of a global network of abundance.
More and more people realize that resources are finite. That is why we are experiencing a transition from the linear throwaway economy to a circular economy that is characterized by reuse and recycling.
More and more services are available on demand. Taxi rides, cleaning services, and groceries. They can be ordered with a touch of a button. Innovations in the field of mobility such as self-driving cars and drones are about to revolutionize the cost and efficiency of logistics within cities.
All these trends lead us to the conclusion that anything that can be shared will be shared in the coming years.
#THE FIRST STEP: PEERBY BORROWING
Our first step in achieving our vision was to make the stuff that we have at our disposal accessible. In 2012 we started a sharing service for neighborhoods; a website and app that allow people to borrow things from their neighbors. You indicate what you need, and Peerby asks the closest neighbors who are also members whether they are able and willing to lend you the drill, barbeque, or pasta machine.
#A GLOBAL SUCCESS
Almost 200,000 people have already signed up. People who believe in smarter consumption, just like we do.
Now you can find Peerby members in every neighborhood throughout the Netherlands. The maps of the big cities are covered with icons in green, indicating Peerby members, and you can borrow or lend something on every street.
But we want to extend our reach and impact beyond the Netherlands. We strive for global impact. And we are well on the way. There are already Peerby communities in twenty cities in Europe and the US where people are sharing things with each other.
#PEERBY IN THE MEDIA
Peerby's success has not gone unnoticed by the media. Peerby has been shown on DWWD, het NOS journaal, RTL Nieuws, Nieuwsuur (at 29:30) (from 29:30), Jinek, Kassa, and several other programs. Almost all Dutch newspapers and journals have written about Peerby.
(* Dutch television programs)
#AND THE REST OF THE WORLD
The international press has also covered Peerby. The New York Times published an extensive article in which Peerby was mentioned as the leading example of a platform for sharing things among neighbors. The Guardian described Peerby as the Tech talent of 2013. Journals such as Forbes, the Economist, and Wired also covered Peerby. And Peerby has been mentioned on the BBC, NPR in the US, and on Belgian television.
The sharing of things reduces CO2 emissions and the use of resources. The production and consumption of goods produce 12.5% of all CO2 emissions. With every product that is shared, we produce less waste, use less water, burn less fossil fuel, and reduce the particulate matter content of the air. If you are interested in the actual impact of sharing things, have a look here at the analysis of Except Sustainable Integration.
#SOCIAL IMPACT; CONNECTING PEOPLE
The most important sharing platforms in the Netherlands generated about €4 million in social capital in 2014 according to a study by True Price. Peerby topped the list with €30 of social capital per individual transaction and the highest total amount.
#MOUTHPIECE FOR POLITICS AND SOCIETY
Peerby serves as a mouthpiece for sustainable consumption. We are perceived as a model and as experts with regards to sustainable consumption. Al Gore invited the founder of Peerby, Daan Weddepohl, to speak at a meeting at which large American and European companies were inspired to change their view about consumption. Dan has also been a guest speaker at the European Union, the European Commission, and the OECD (view this video, in which François Hollande and Mark Rutte have their say too). Dan also works as an adviser to cities, municipalities, and businesses. Peerby is cited as an example in many studies by governments, businesses, and universities. [LINK]
#A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODEL
All this publicity led to explosive growth of more than 500% per year for two years in a row. However, this growth posed a real challenge. Peerby was still a free service. Expenses increased with each expansion to new cities without any income to compensate for them. In order to continue growing and to realize our ambitions about sustainable consumption, we needed money.
Therefore, in 2015, we started to look seriously for a viable business model. A model that would not become more expensive as we grew but would earn money we would use to compensate for the expenses of the organization – and that eventually would allow Peerby to become a profitable business.
In order to find out what additional service or services could generate an income, we spoke with our members. The outcome was Peerby Go, rent from your neighbor.
#RENT-FROM-YOUR-NEIGHBORS-SERVICE PEERBY GO
Peerby Go, the rent-from-your-neighbors-service, is functioning in Amsterdam, and we have just launched in Utrecht and Rotterdam. The rental service provides additional convenience, security, and a clear way to compensate the lender/owner. You choose a product from our catalog, and Peerby takes care of the rest. Contrary to borrowing, you determine as the renter when and where you need the product. The item will be delivered to you by the lender/owner (your neighbor) at the time of your choice. At the end of the rental period, your “super neighbor” comes to collect the item again. During the entire transaction, all products are insured against damage, theft, and loss. Your neighbor helps you out and also generates a little income with his valuable goods, which otherwise would just lie around and collect dust. On average the renter saves about €100 per transaction compared to buying new. Active lenders/owners can earn about €300 per month. Three-quarters of the rental amount goes to the owner of the goods and 25% to Peerby.
#RESULTS OF THE BUSINESS MODEL – TO DATE
The pilot has been a great success. Revenues and transactions are growing exponentially, on average 20% to 30% per month over the past six months.
The potential market for peer-to-peer rental has been estimated at €5 billion in the US and Europe. European and US consumers spend about €2.5 trillion on consumer goods every year. At least 1% of these are products that are not frequently used (such as drills) and are thus extremely suitable for rent via Peerby. If 20% of the population would actually rent these items, the resulting market would be worth €5 billion per year in the US and Europe alone. Similar estimates are valid for other regions of the world.
It is very likely that in the future we will use more acquisition channels to obtain goods than is now the case. But even as we analyze Peerby's current acquisition channels, we estimate a potential rental income of €50,000 per month per 1 million residents.
This represents a potential turnover of €175,000 per month in the top ten cities in the Netherlands, €600,000 in the top ten cities in the UK, and €1.2 million in the top ten cities in the US. Per year this results in approximately €23.7 million for all of these cities combined.
The fact that we now have a revenue model does not mean we are abandoning our impact goals. Peerby is a social enterprise and a certified B corp. This means that our impact targets are on an equal footing with our objective to become a successful business. Now and in the future.
Peerby wants to make it possible to share things more frequently and throughout the whole world. We want to expand our sharing network and our business model and thus increase our impact. Our dream is to reach €1 billion in rental turnover via the Peerby platform by 2020. One billion euros represent many more billions of euros in social capital, many more millions of kilos in CO2 reduction, and savings of many hundreds of millions of kilograms of waste and resources. Are you curious about the impact of sharing things? Go ahead and check the analyses of Except Sustainable Integration.
#GROWTH IN THE NETHERLANDS, THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND THE UNITED STATES
In order to realize our ambitions to grow, we will – following a successful pilot in Amsterdam – expand our sustainable business model to the rest of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We have selected the United Kingdom and the United States because these are the countries with available capital for follow-up investments, and we are familiar with them. CEO Daan Weddepohl studied entrepreneurship in London and COO Christina Calje grew up in New York and worked in London for several years. We understand the language and the cultures. And because Peerby is part of Techstars (UK/US) and the Founder Institute (US), we have strong British and American networks. We have access to business, politics, and investors. We also have good connections with the press.
#INVEST AND BECOME A SHAREHOLDER
With your investment we can develop the Peerby platform further. It also allows us to make our business model, the Peerby Go rental service, available in ten big cities in the Netherlands and to expand to the United Kingdom and the United States. Invest and own part of Peerby. Together we will make sharing a viable alternative to buying on a global scale. Together we will make sustainable and social consumption possible. Together we have more.