Indian startup Rentomojo — which lets consumers rent appliances furniture, motorbikes and other urban living essentials — has closed a $10 million Series B to continue its expansion.
The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures; others that put in include Lending Club founder and former CEO Renaud Laplanche and existing investors Accel and IDG.
It’s nearly one year to the day that Rentomojo raised $5 million, and since then the three-year-old company has expanded its focus from renting out home appliances and furniture into motorbikes, a potentially lucrative segment.
The idea of the company is to cater to India’s migrating workforce, so that when a person pitches up in a new city they can rent their home essentials as they need them rather than having to make an expensive outlay and buy items that they may not need in the long term. It is currently active in eight cities in India, including Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.
All told, Rentomojo CEO and founder Geetansh Bamania told TechCrunch he believes the total market is worth $6 billion per year.
For the expansion into bikes, Bamania said the goal is to “offer something that’s less than the cost of Uber or Ola.” He estimates that many in urban areas spend upwards of $100 per month on such apps, whereas a Rentomojo bike typically costs $30-40 per month.
He said the company is evaluating another new transportation product that could launch in the next three to four months, though he declined to provide specific details at this time.
Besides that potential expansion, the goal is really to increase awareness of Rentomojo services among its target audience.
“Our eight cities cover a good 60-70 percent of online commerce [shoppers in India] right now, we are now looking to go into a lot more depth in the cities we exist in,” he said.
The company is also looking to hire in a select number of senior positions, but it doesn’t plan to massively increase its current headcount of around 300 staff.
“We’re trying to stay lean, but with 120 in management we are very operational heavy,” Bamania told TechCrunch. “We are looking for leadership, ideally those in senior leadership roles that we’d love to join with experiences in fintech, finance and consumer lending.”
Already, though, Rentomojo is getting a healthy injection of experience as Laplanche, who helped pioneer peer-to-peer lending with Lending Club, and Bain Capital Ventures MD Salil Deshpande have taken seats on the startup’s board.
“That’s been the most exciting part, we’ll be able to dive into both of their experiences,” Bamania said.
Laplanche was ousted from Lending Club more than a year ago after clashing with the board following falsified dates for loans and undisclosed conflicts of interest. The U.S.-French businessman founded the company in 2006 and took it public in late 2014, but earlier this year he launched a rival called Upgrade.
Bamania said Laplanche plans to visit India regularly and will have a very hands-on role advising Rentomojo