Blogpost by Daan Weddepohl, founder of Peerby and Green Challenge runner-up in 2012

Once upon a time, two years ago…
September 2012, four nervous nicely dressed Dutchies are waiting for the subway in New York. The subway will bring them to the Rockefeller Center where the finale of the 2012 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge will take place. When the second prize is announced, the four start to celebrate. Their start-up won the $125,000 prize to further develop their sharing platform Peerby; a website and app that allows people to borrow the things they need from people nearby.

 

What happened since?
First of all, winning this prize brought us a lot of (inter)national attention, which was a perfect base for growing our community in the Netherlands. Secondly, we moved into our first office space and thirdly, we hired our iOS developer and the iOS app was launched shortly after.

Besides winning the Green Challenge, which is focused on sustainability, we won several other prizes because of the social impact we make. And there is more: During the summer of 2013, we joined the London branch of the American accelerator Techstars where we worked on our next growth step. At the moment, we have 100.000 monthly active members in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Our community is growing and so is our team. We had to move not once, not twice but three times in the last two years as we grew from 4 to 20 people. Together we are working to launch our Android app and a new version of the iOS app in the coming months.

Peerby team

Over 30.000 items borrowed!
The production of consumer goods is responsible for 1/8th of the CO2 emissions globally. If by sharing we could reduce the purchase of goods by even 10% that would save the world 62 million tons of CO2 per year! What’s more, by using Peerby people already borrowed over 30.000 items from their neighbours. The average price of a borrowed item is about $75, consequently we saved $2 million of expenses on things.

Back to the USA
This year we’re going back to the USA. Not as the nervous rookies we were two years ago, but with an extended and excited team that is going to kickstart sharing and sustainable communities with our City Program in US cities.

At the moment 85% of all requests in our key cities are fulfilled within 30 minutes or less. Not only does Peerby enable people to borrow the things they need from others nearby. By connecting people to others around them, Peerby makes neighbourhoods safer, friendlier and more sustainable places to live. In 5 years we want to achieve instant access to everything, everywhere, at any time and for everyone.

Exciting times at the Peerby office, and only time will tell what awaits Peerby in the future. Whatever happens in the future, one thing is for sure: so far it has been quite a ride!

 

 


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