How a thirst for innovation brought a challenger to the Nordic car-rental market
Most of the time, innovation isn't about coming up with a totally new idea, but rather combining some that already exist and applying the result in a useful way. That's exactly how it went for Vuokraa Autosi, a new online marketplace platform we've created with Finnish partners Peer to Peer Car Share Ltd., that lets car owners rent out their vehicles to anyone who might be in need of some wheels.
The concept of car rental is almost as old as the automobile itself - but the original model, where rental operators own huge fleets that sit around waiting for customers to arrive, has begun to look inefficient in the era of sharing economy innovators like Uber. And so founders Miika and Tuukka decided to finesse a trend that is emerging globally - by letting Finns rent out their personal cars to others when not using them.
The story of Vuokraa Autosi is one of fortunate coincidences. The first was when Miika happened to take some time off from his job as a lawyer at Nokia to sketch out a project he'd been mulling over - a kind of an 'Airbnb for cars'. Scarcely a month later he was at a birthday party when he bumped into the perfect partner for the project: Tuukka shared Miika's passion for his idea while having the sales and marketing expertise needed to help get it off the ground.
Before they knew it, the pair had an MVP and a marketing plan - and although early January of this year, when the project's execution truly began, was an incredibly challenging time to be getting a new business off the ground, we're happy to say that Vuokraa Autosi is now live.
A Growing Partnership
Even the best ideas aren't worth the paper they're written on if you can't bring them to life and take them to market. Between them, Miika and Tuukka had a wealth of experience - in business, insurance, contracting, marketing, and more. But when it came to actually building their platform, there were still more skills that they still needed to bring to the table.
In another fateful coincidence, the pair came across Sharetribe's Flex solution for building online marketplaces - which happens also to hail from their Nordic homeland. After a little testing, it became clear that Sharetribe Flex would offer just the balance of speed, user-friendliness, and affordability that Miika and Tuukka were looking for.
Though Flex removes many technical obstacles to building a P2P marketplace, having an expert technical team to handle its implementation is still highly recommended - and so it was that we at Roobykon became the last piece of the Vuokraa Autosi puzzle.
My Car, Your Car
The holy grail in business is to find an idea that makes money while doing good. Vuokraa Autosi's model of peer-to-peer rental seems like just such a situation: for car owners, there's the chance to earn from an idle asset; for the company, a cut from each rental they help facilitate; for renters, an affordable, flexible way to get moving; for the environment we all live in, fewer cars in circulation.
We think it adds up to an idea whose time has come.
Want to take the first step? Get in touch!