Circular economy startup Rentle raises $3.8M to meet demands of merchants

Rentle team
Image credits: Rentle

Circular economy is on the rise and we have seen startups such as Swappie and everphone get funded. Now, a Finnish circular economy startup Rentle has raised $3.8 million in seed funding. The investment came from leading financial services investors – Tera Ventures, Anthemis, Maki.vc (which backed IQM, Happeo, and others), Mission One Capital, The Fund and a number of European and US family offices, and angel investors.

Growth plans on cards

Rentle plans to use the newly raised funds to invest in product development to meet the rapidly growing demand from existing and new merchants. Also, the startup plans to expand its team.

“Our mission is to stop the world from drowning in stuff by putting an end to one-off consumption, one merchant at a time,” said Tuomo Laine, CEO and Co-founder of Rentle. “We’re building a first-of-its-kind technology that supports sellers in transitioning to more profitable and sustainable circular business models. For consumers, this will mean effortless access to a wider range of better quality goods at a lower price.”

“Any large behavioural shift requires an underlying technology platform to facilitate it,” said Sophie Winwood, Principal at Anthemis. “As we move from buying goods to accessing them, we believe Rentle will be that platform. Not only is this move a necessity as we transition to a more sustainable commerce model, but it also represents an enormous business opportunity, where embedded fintech and insurtech revenue streams will play a big role. Tuomo and his stellar team have already demonstrated the operational excellency to take on this challenge, and we are excited to support them in this next phase of growth.”

“The scale of the opportunity that Rentle has in front of them is humongous,” said Eamonn Carey, General Partner at Tera Ventures. “They’re at the confluence of several secular trends – from sustainability and the circular economy right through to a world where our concepts of ownership are changing. What’s more, they’re already making a huge impact on the big and small businesses they’re working with. I’m excited to be part of a great syndicate of investors supporting the company, and can’t wait to see the team execute against their vision.”

“Rentle falls into the category of unlimited upside and huge optionality backed by a model where growing revenue means a transition towards a greener and more sustainable world,” said Ilkka Kivimäki, General Partner at Maki.vc. “At Maki.vc, we are proud backers of Rentle’s world-class team and vision since day one.”

Remodels recreational rental industry

Founded by Joel Mikkonen, Toomas Kallioja, and Tuomo Laine in 2018 in Espoo, Rentle closes the gap between supply and demand. Its platform empowers merchants to expand their commerce from unit sales to service, from ownership to access, while retaining complete control of customer experience. The commerce platform provides merchants with software to make it easy and profitable to take part in the circular economy, instead of linear, old-school commerce.

Rentle is building the merchant operating system for Commerce 3.0. Offering merchants with a commerce platform designed to start, manage and grow circular commerce. This startup helps merchants around the globe meet the new demand for renting and selling their offerings in one platform. The platform scales according to every merchant’s individual growth needs.

With its focus on enabling any retailer or brand to start a circular business model in a matter of minutes, Rentle sets itself apart from commerce platform giants such as Shopify. Its merchants range from entrepreneur-led small businesses to ski resorts and retail brands such as Motonet and Decathlon UK.

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