Spotlight on: Toomas Kallioja

Our alumnus Toomas Kallioja has been actively working on his own startup ideas already during his bachelor's degree and the entrepreneurial emphasis also attracted him to apply for the EIT Digital Master School. He kept on working on different business ideas also during the master's, and finally after finishing the Master School and working for a year, he decided to resign from his work and become a full-time entrepreneur to focus on their new idea Rentle.

The idea of Rentle, a platform solution that handles all the daily operations needed to run a rental company, arose from their own frustration when trying to find a service to help them rent out products. "We tried to look for a solution to easily manage renting out products, and handle the renting related payments. But as we couldn't find a solution for our needs, we decided to build one ourselves. We managed to build a simple solution that handled our needs, and started to validate if our solution could help other rental companies as well. And that is how the idea for Rentle started", says Toomas.

Rentle was founded in July 2018, and today they published their successful pre-seed round of 250,000€. The investors consist of reputable Finnish family offices and business angels. The pre-seed round secures Rentle financially to develop the platform further in their mission to create better and more profitable rental experiences for the consumers. Tuomo Laine, a founding partner of Toomas, summarises the rental market as such: "The problem in the market is that the current processes and solution to run a rental company demand too much of manual work. Currently companies may use from 4-5 different solutions, but still, the process is far from optimal and profit margins are low. The reason is that most of these great modern services our clients use are designed for sales - and not for the renting business model."

Rentle concentrates only on the rental companies and their unique needs. The platform comprehensively takes care of the whole rental shop's operations including inventory management, booking and reservations, rental contracts, payments, and online and offline sales channels. This means that concepts such as deposits, time-based charges, inventory circulation, etc. are all built-in into the DNA of Rentle. Rentle's first step is to digitize the critical processes such as rental contracts, then automate manual tasks and finally enable data-driven business intelligence for the customers. Previously, Rentle has successfully piloted the solution with a number of forward thinking rental shops. During 2019 Rentle continues the piloting and launches the product with the first selected group of customers.