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If you recognise its distinctive orange branding, you’re among the 90% of people in Europe who are familiar with the easy family of brands.
They have every industry covered, including now equipment hire, the market easyHire has taken by storm. Having raised £1.5 million from leading investors, easyHire are gearing up to disrupt the £23 billion European market for event and construction equipment hire. They already have 3 million pieces of inventory online (and counting) and have raised over £460,000 from more than 500 investors in their crowdfunding round which hit its target in just a few days.
We sat down with co-founders Andrew Guzzoni and Dennis Helderman to find out what’s in store for the household brand with global ambitions.
What is easyHire’s vision?
Our technological vision is to be a truly globalized business built off one platform, in the cloud, and support every country’s equipment hire ecosystem instantly with live updates and real-time upgrades. We aim to transform Europe’s leading value brand into a global force making equipment hire easy and affordable to all.
What gap in the market is easyHire solving?
As it stands, the equipment rental market is incredibly fragmented. There are thousands of hire companies across Europe with no strong consumer brand that are operating in a £23 billion market. The sheer value of the addressable market means a value-driven approach is perfect.
easyToolhire and easyEventhire franchises have the potential to create the first truly pan-European rental brand. We partner with independent hire operators in protected territories, giving them the leverage of an internationally known brand so they can reach a broadened customer base they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
The tool hire industry has traditionally been a handshake industry. There hasn’t been much digitisation of technology application which makes it difficult for independent operators to meet the demands of an increasingly online, customer-focused market. They don’t have the infrastructure to manage all the technology solutions that are required to make this market seamless and streamlined for customers. easyHire offers turn-key digitisation – our API-led strategy focuses on integrations for business functions such as inventory management, CRM systems, payment processing, digital customer portals providing past/current hires, invoices, team management, smart recommendations (AI), and much more. Our franchises can reap the rewards of world class technology at a fraction of cost and at a touch of a button.
Over time we also have clear network effects. The larger our franchise network gets, the more we’ll be able to reduce costs for franchise partners by acting as a buying group for their supply chain. It’s ultimately internationally scalable and has huge potential to totally revolutionise this industry.
What are the benefits of the franchise model?
Operating a franchise model allows us to partner with experienced independent operators on the ground that have been in the business for over ten years on average. We get to leverage their expertise, knowledge of specific domestic market needs, and onboard all of their inventory. In return, we deliver a brand that supercharges their marketing and a seamless user experience that allows them to multiply their customer touchpoints and control them through structured online operations.
What are the primary revenue streams for the business?
Our franchises trade through the easy brand for both online and physical sales. We have a number of revenue streams in our financial model and our pricing varies by franchise depending on their size and size of their local market. These include Setup Fees, Annual, Exclusivity Fees, Monthly SAAS platform fees, Royalty Fees – 10% of sales, and other miscellaneous fees such as insurance commissions that we currently have in the pipeline.
How has easyHire adapted to changing conditions throughout the Covid-19 crisis?
The pandemic has changed the landscape of this industry, but in many ways for the better. Due to COVID-19 we focused on tool and plant hire in the construction industry and within months signed our first franchises in new markets such as Italy during the Pandemic. Growth has also accelerated because the entire industry has been forced to digitise much faster than it otherwise would have. Business owners are now more willing to invest in technology, to upgrade their online presence and optimise their internal systems and processes. An industry that was going to take 10 years to digitise is now doing it in 2.
What’s next for easyHire in the way of partnerships, international expansion and product development?
We’re very grateful for the community response to our Seedrs campaign, and looking forward to taking the 500+ investors onboard with us on our journey! We have an incredibly exciting pipeline and roadmap. We are currently ‘live’ in the UK (see easyEventhire and easyToolhire) and Italy (see easyNoleggio), and will be launching in France and Spain in the coming months. We’re also unveiling some big digital upgrades for our franchises and have a few exciting partnership announcements that we will be sharing in due course
What’s the most important skill you’ve learned in running a business?
Dennis: One of the most important skills I’ve picked up running a business is patience. You have to trust the process. I’m always very ambitious with deadlines and getting things done, but when working with growing teams and other stakeholders, plans generally will take longer than expected to execute, compared to just doing it yourself. That’s normal and you have to accept it, and plan for it.
Andrea: Not everyone is like you and that’s a good thing! At the end of the day everybody is different and will approach topics or friction points from different perspectives. People have varying drivers, motivators, and reasons for doing things. While it can make things tougher, this diversity is what makes a great team do exceptional things.
To join over 500 investors backing the go-to destination for equipment hire, visit the pitch now.