Helping businesses transition to and thrive in the circular economy, Portuguese startup Flecto has just secured €1.2 million for its all-in-one platform helping companies manage rental operations.
The circular economy is the future. It’s a system that will enable society and businesses to grow more sustainably, and there is a big opportunity to make an impact in this space. Helping businesses thrive in the circular economy, giving them the chance to boost revenue and operate more sustainably, Flecto has just bagged €1.2 million.
The funding was led by MSM, Übermorgen Ventures and Techstars.
Traditional retail companies are increasingly looking for circular models – as much for environmental reasons as for financial ones. It’s a lucrative market, and if navigated correctly can improve customer loyalty and recurrence. Flecto, founded in 2016, has been built to allow these circular-minded companies to initiate rental operations with their customers, accelerating their adaptation process to more sustainable models that meet a new generation of consumers that values access over ownership. With Flecto, any brand can offer an alternative to buying and become a part of the circular economy – already worth a reported €36 billion in Western Europe and growing.
The Lisbon-based startup began life as Rnters, a rental marketplace for all kinds of items. In early 2020, after participation in two accelerator programmes, the founders saw an opportunity to solve the problems in the rental industry, rather than just become another entity within it. This drove the creation of the Flecto platform which empowers companies to manage rental operations and leverage sales online.
Guilherme Guerra, co-founder and CEO of Flecto, explained: “More and more companies and people are looking for alternative models to buying and selling: they just need the right tools to enter the Circular Economy. When we realized that companies were already using our platform to build online stores and manage inventory, we saw the opportunity for our product to solve the main problems around the equipment rental industry. Both in terms of security, digitization of processes, and setting up online stores. This is what drove the transformation from a peer-to-peer rental marketplace to a SaaS where companies can manage rental operations and leverage sales through an online store.”
From managing inventory, reservations and customers to accessing insurance or creating an online store, Flecto provides a customizable experience that adapts to each business and grows with the company.
The company already has more than 150 clients. Thanks to Flecto, these companies can rent out multiple items such as photographic and video material, sound or light systems, game consoles, computers, drones or bicycles. It’s an innovation that has great potential to push forward the circular economy agenda, and help Europe’s economy become rooted in sustainable practices.
António Miguel, Managing Partner of the MSM impact fund, added: “We truly believe in Flecto. Since the beginning, we have had full faith in Flecto’s team as well as the market size, which is still underexplored by technological solutions. Furthermore, what we are excited about at Flecto is the potential for scale and the systemic impact of adopting consumption patterns that prioritize access and responsible consumption, to the detriment of purchasing goods and equipment that remain unused for long periods of time. Flecto’s impact proposal is unequivocal and can make our daily consumption significantly more efficient.”
The fresh investment will be used by Flecto to continue supporting companies to transition their businesses to a circular model – namely encouraging the implementation of subscription and rental models.