In the summer of 2016, Krista Pohjanlehto’s two-year-old son categorically refused to sit in his brand-new travel pram. Krista thought leaving a high-quality piece of baby gear to collect dust in the garage was a great waste and decided to post an offer to rent it on a local parents’ group on Facebook.
The offer set Krista’s phone beeping non-stop, which quickly convinced her that peer-to-peer rentals for strollers and other baby gear could be a valid business idea.
Today, Kinspiring, lead by Krista and her teammate, Heta Kärki, is Finland’s largest peer-to-peer marketplace for renting baby gear. After the initial success on Facebook, it quickly became obvious that managing the booking flow and ensuring secure payments was not possible on a social media platform.
The team didn’t have the technical skills to start building a marketplace platform from scratch. Luckily, they came across Sharetribe Go. The service allowed Kinspiring to enter the market quickly and without investing a fortune in technical development.
The first year on the market proved to Kinspiring that their marketplace business was viable. It also brought out the need for additional features and customisations that were specific to their marketplace. With the initial idea proven, they were now willing to make an investment into developing the platform for their needs.
This made transitioning to Sharetribe Flex an easy decision.
"Sharetribe Flex gives us full freedom to develop Kinspiring based on customer feedback. It’s an ideal solution for a company like ours that doesn’t have technical resources on the founding team," Krista explains.
Kinspiring’s mission is to make the world of baby gear more sustainable. Users are thrilled that they don’t need to purchase every single item they occasionally need, and many people that come across Kinspiring say they wish the marketplace had existed when their children were little. Many stay-at-home parents also appreciate the possibility to earn a bit on the side by renting out items they are not using.
"What I love about Kinspiring is that it’s truly social. For example, a parent who rented my baby carrier recently invited me to lunch", Heta says.
The Kinspiring brand is already strong in Finland and brings in plenty of users, particularly around the capital city Helsinki. The team now wants to spread the benefits of the sharing economy to even more parents.
"We hope that parents all over Finland realise the potential of the sharing economy. Not all baby gear needs to be bought."
In five years, the team aspires to turn Kinspiring into a world-wide community for sharing baby gear.› Check out Kinspiring (in Finnish)