The New York-based gear-rental platform KitSplit has completed a $2 million seed round from an investor pool including HeartLab, 3311 Ventures, NYU Innovation, and Mike Krieger (the co-founder of Instagram). This multi-million dollar raise—a substantial sum indicating that KitSplit has very serious ambitions—expands the company's pool of investors. KitSplit plans to put the capital to use by vigorously pursuing North America's other major media market (Los Angeles) and hiring a rental manager there.
KitSplit's official launch party in Los Angeles.
While the common misconception is that online platforms are located "anywhere at any time," the truth is that a company needs to do intense work in a given location to fill rental inventory. Uber famously had a team that would pick up and move to any new city the company was launching in to ensure that it recruited enough drivers, and Airbnb's founders were famous for leaving town every weekend to knock on doors and directly acquire rentees onto the platform.
A highly focused effort is involved in finding a new location, ensuring that there's both rental inventory available and that the marketing is properly driving traffic toward renters being able to obtain new clients.
Location (and impressing a new audience) matters! Case-in-point: if a user hears "try Kitsplit," goes to your local site, and finds nothing there to rent, they're likely never to return. A highly focused effort is involved in finding a new location, ensuring that there's both rental inventory available and that the marketing is properly driving traffic toward renters being able to obtain new clients.
KitSplit has a strong New York presence, and while last year's acquisition of CameraLends brought San Francisco market share, the company is putting serious energy into their pursuit of ShareGrid's home turf in Los Angeles.
Founders Kristina Budelis and Lisbeth KaufmanCredit: Kitsplit
As this is the first time we're witnessing a single-city showdown between the two major platforms, one likely benefit for filmmakers will be an increase in available services. That being said, we doubt there will be price drops...
Since both platforms make it painfully easy to list available gear, attracting new gear owners will be a simple task (though if you live in L.A., you will most likely be the target of some specific KitSplit outreach). Kitsplit's challenge then becomes conditioning paying customers to use its platform over a competitors'.
If you're a renter in the L.A. market, be on the lookout for what customer service perks will be made available to you to make your life easier.
In our opinion, KitSplit already leads the way, with concierge services and a business-facing team designed to support regular corporate clients' needs. If you're a renter in the L.A. market, be on the lookout for what customer service perks will be made available to you to make your life easier; this new financing gives KitSplit the ability to make a serious move in offering their level of service to the City of Angels. Now let's keep a close eye on what ShareGrid does in return.
For more information, check out the full story at TechCrunch.