25 Apr 2018

Our Investment in Fat Llama: Bringing the Sharing Economy to Everything You Own

It is no secret that mass consumption and shopping have become a way of life. From fast fashion to the next iPhone, as consumers, we are seemingly conditioned to no longer wait for something to break or even wear down before getting excited about the next new thing.

As AirBnB co-founder Brian Chesky once famously summarised it in an interview with the New York Times , “There are 80 million power drills in America that are used an average of 13 minutes, does everyone really need their own drill?”

In our lifetimes, each of us will accumulate a large quantity of items that we completely under-utilize. At the same time, with urbanisation increasing, there is a large number of people in our surrounding communities who could find a clear use for these products if they could access them when we are not using them. This prevailing “take, make, use, throw” economic model, that has no doubt driven many a corporate bottom line for many years, is sadly taking its toll on our planet too, straining under the weight of our throwaway consumer culture.

When you take into account all of these macros trends, harnessing excess capacity and unlocking value by sharing possessions becomes a necessity.

At Atomico, we love to get behind companies offering solutions to the world’s biggest problems, and we also love marketplaces. In the UK’s Fat Lama, we have found both. A marketplace with a huge ambition and mission to change the future of ownership and a much-needed solution to break from the prevailing ‘take, make, use, throw’ cycle, towards one that rewards repair and reuse.

Fat Lama provides the world’s first fully insured peer-to-peer marketplace to rent almost anything.

Just as eBay emerged two decades ago to allow people to buy and sell anything, Fat Lama is fast establishing itself as the cross-category rental equivalent. The platform currently facilitates rentals of anything from film and photography gear to DJ equipment, drones, projectors, bikes, motorhomes and kayaks. Unlike other sharing platforms, Fat Lama’s risk-profiling technology has allowed it to develop a unique insurance policy which lets you rent out anything to anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world. Fully covered.

We are proud to join our friends at Blossom Capital in Fat Lama’s Series A investment, and our Growth Acceleration Team is looking forward to working closely with Fat Lama co-founders Chaz Englander, Rosie Dallas and Owen Turner-Major to scale up the company’s product, engineering and operations teams in London and hire city general managers across the US to further grow their user base there.

We look forward to doing everything we can to help Fat Lama achieve their mission to enable people to share and monetise their unused possessions, increasing the efficiency of both the consumer and the planet’s resources.