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Kiwi Start-up Propels New Zealand’s Sharing Economy Forwards With New Rental Marketplace App

A preview of Mutu's app which is set for release later this year

Reducing waste, encouraging a smaller carbon footprint, connecting with neighbours and making money while doing so. That’s what start-up founder and Kiwi Toby Skilton aims to provide New Zealanders through his peer-to-peer rental marketplace app Mutu.

Currently being built as an app, Mutu is an online peer-to-peer rental marketplace set to launch later this year. Mutu connects those who want things with those who have them. Once ready, Mutu will allow New Zealanders to lend and rent everyday items that would otherwise be collecting dust or be discarded as solid landfill.

Inspired by his European travels using peer-to-peer apps to find accommodation and noticing a lack of ability to loan out activity items to do the things he loves, like camping, surfing, paddle boarding and fishing, Toby sees potential in similar businesses worldwide and he hopes to bring this to New Zealand's shores.

“Mutu will provide a safe and secure space for Kiwis to quickly search, compare & locate items to rent based on budget and location, These items could include outdoor equipment, like surfboards and bikes, electronics, like cameras and drones, and renovation and DIY tools,” says the start-up founder.

Mutu users will also earn money by lending out under-utilised items for extra cash. Lenders are able to keep their items and continue to loan them out rather than contribute to the growing landfill challenges in New Zealand.

“New Zealanders alone create 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year. This is equivalent to 3,200kg of waste per Kiwi, one of the highest levels in the world. Only 28% of this waste is currently recycled” Toby explains.

“The appeal of our beautiful country for international visitors means tourism numbers will continue to grow once we've rebounded from COVID-19. While tourism is essential to New Zealand's economy, the impact on national waste is undeniable. We hope to help decrease these waste numbers by encouraging loaning and borrowing, rather than purchasing new items for one or two-time use.”

Peer-to-peer marketplace apps are commonplace on mobile phones globally - and the demand is undeniable. In 2019 rideshare app Uber reported revenues of $3.16 billion for their second quarter. Property rental app Airbnb reports 150 million global users as of August 2019. Mutu aims to change attitudes towards ownership by encouraging communities to share instead of buy.

More information and registration for early access to the Mutu app is available at https://www.mutu.co.nz/

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