Rental industry startup by school kid gets US$1M funding now

 Rental industry startup by school kid gets US$1M funding now

Zach Laberge, CEO of frenter. Image courtesy: frenter.

Halifax-based rental industry startup, frenter, has recently announced a seed funding round. The company raised US$1 million as part of the financing. 1517 Fund, a pre-seed and seed fund in technology startups, led the round. Venture Grade, Sarah Stevens, LOI Venture, LAUNCH, Invest Nova Scotia, Gordon Quaiattini, DKAM Ventures, and Bill Barrett also participated. This funding is in addition to the CA$700K the company raised by mid 2022.

frenter’s all-in-one platform equips rental businesses with cutting-edge solutions to optimize their operations and mitigate risks. It offers a SaaS solution to enable rental businesses have access to real-time data & insights on equipment usage and health. The company claims its offering works even in remote areas where cellular and satellite GPS technology is utilized. This information empowers rental businesses to make better-informed decisions, maximize efficiency, and be more competitive.

With the successful completion of its seed round, frenter aims for rapid growth and to establish itself as a frontrunner in the rental industry’s digital transformation. The company’s will use the funds to expand its user base, foster strategic partnerships, and continuously enhance its platform.

Also read: VC funding in Canada: Decoding the past decade of growth

Initially founded as “Airbnb for stuff”, pivoted to B2B rental industry startup

Interestingly, Zach Laberge, a school-going Canadian kid, founded frenter in 2020. Zach made some news last year when CBC reported a CA$700K funding raised by the then 16-year old founder. Zach initially established the company a “Airbnb for stuff,” where consumers could rent items like kayaks and power equipment. He expanded it to 11 locations, 2,500 users, and 3,200 rental goods, before pivoting in August 2021.

“We started to get a ton of rental companies on our platform and they’d join us and they’d pretty much use the marketplace for free marketing, so they could list their items and bring it to a new audience. We pivoted late August and focused on business-to-business and being an operating system for rental companies.”

Zach Laberge, frenter CEO told CBC News in May 2022

Interestingly, apart from a long list of investors in this round, the company has also been through a sequence of startup accelerator programs. These include Jason Calacanis’ Launch Accelerator, CDL-Atlantic, League of Innovators & Propel.

Nova Scotia’s Propel recently received a CA$1M grant from the provincial government, which was announced at frenter’s office in Hallifax. Clearly, the young founder is making his early backers proud.

Also read: Canadian student satellites launching in space; get more grants


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