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Fat Lama gets $10m to grow its rental marketplace in the US

Online lending marketplace Fat Lama has raised $10m (£7.17m) in a Series A funding round led by Blossom Capital.

Atomico and existing investor Y Combinator also participated in the fund, which will be used to grow the London-based company over in the US by hiring city managers, and scale its product, engineering and operations teams in the UK’s capital. 

Fat Lama lets people borrow or lend their belongings, including cameras, drones, DJ equipment, bikes, instruments, projectors and more. Users can browse listings for items available in their area, borrowing specialised equipment on a pay per day basis.

The company was founded in 2015 by Chaz Englander, Owen Turner-Major and Rosie Dallas. Back in November 2017, it raised $1.5m (£1.15m) from Greylock Partners.

Englander believes consumers are becoming less interested in owning things: “At Fat Lama, we believe that one day, actually owning those things we only occasionally need will be as ridiculous as buying a house every time you want to go on holiday.

“People can enjoy using items without the financial burden or environmental implications of owning them.”

According to Fat Lama, some lenders on its platform are earning $10,000 per month, and borrowers are saving an estimated $12m per month based on borrowing rather than purchasing items.

Founder of Blossom Capital, Ophelia Brown, said Fat Lama was transforming the idea of ownership: “It’s impressive how strong their brand is in the market – rarely do we see this at such an early-stage in a company’s life.

“The platform works in both large cities and remote areas as it’s an easy way for anyone with items to rent to earn a substantial income. We’re excited to work with such a formidable team and help them expand on their mission,” she added.

This investment will help with US expansion, following a successful launch in New York, where over 6000 items have already been listed and supply is growing three times as fast as it did in London.

Check out our UK tech investment tracker for the latest industry deals.