Renterii, a new item-rental app from a Winnipeg tech startup, all began with a simple mission: to rent a kayak. Launched in summer 2021 by Jordan Smith, Dennis Cheong and Dany Cheong, it is an app where individuals and businesses can list, discover and rent out items.
“The idea for Renterii stemmed from a past trip on the West Coast where the accessibility for myself to rent a kayak on this random adventure wasn’t as easy nor as modern as I thought it should be,” Smith says in an email to The Uniter.
He says the process required Google searches, phone calls and website hops just to discover that there was no kayak available for rent.
“After this experience, I decided to build a platform ... aimed at giving folks like me the tool to discover and book from these existing rental businesses more efficiently,” Smith says, adding that a second goal was to provide the opportunity for people to rent things from locals.
He says Renterii is “similar to a platform like Airbnb, but having access to rent items like kayaks, bikes and tents from nearby local lenders in Canada.”
Smith is a proud University of Winnipeg alum and has some previous entrepreneurship experience. As a student, he co-founded YTID Clothing before joining SkipTheDishes, where he became passionate about technology.
“Currently, the Renterii app is accessible from coast to coast on both app stores (the App Store and Google Play), where, with the help of Renterii’s national insurance partner and in-app booking system features, users can connect with lenders nearby and rent items directly from each other worry-free,” Smith says.
Steven Maxted is the founder of Type Eh Bikes, a Winnipeg-based mobile rental company that has partnered with Renterii. He says the Renterii app has played a “huge role” in his company’s expansion.
“It fits into our business as a main source of booking and expansion ... into other markets,” Maxted says, adding that “the app makes it easy to upload your items, manage bookings (and) insurance on your products.”
“It processes the payment for us and allows us to function with insurance as needed ... which is truly a win-win for cash flow,” he says.
Maxted says they came across Renterii while “researching tech in this space.”
“We then connected, and they helped on-board us at Type Eh and offered some cross-marketing in the form of a commercial,” he says.
“It was easy to use, and our so-to-say partnership in business continued to evolve.”
Renterii was recently named one of the 16 Top Apps Startups and Companies in Manitoba and was accepted into the League of Innovators Boost Residency, an incubator that focuses on supporting scalable Canadian startups.
Renterii is available for download on the App Store and Google Play
Published in Volume 76, Number 19 of The Uniter (March 2, 2022)