Hirejungle aims to boost the sharing economy

One of the most useful things about the internet is its ability to bring people together to trade and exchange. Think eBay, Play and Amazon Marketplace. But all of these are aimed at people with physical products to sell. London-based Hirejungle has come up with a platform that lets businesses and individuals hire out their goods or services.

Peer-to-peer rental, or the sharing economy, is big business according to The Economist. Whether you want to hire a car, rent a room for the night or find someone to carry out a home improvement job, technology makes it much easier to find what you need.

Newly out of beta, Hirejungle's peer-to-peer site connects people who have underutilized items or know how with others who need them. The site's founder Marcelo Barreneche says, "The first 'Eureka!' moment was when I needed a drill for a home refurbishing task and I didn’t have one, but I wasn't happy with the option of buying a new one only to use it just once a year. Then I thought it might be a good idea to hire someone to do the job for me… But who? And that started the brainstorming that led to this peer-to-peer platform".

Hirejungle is novel in that it doesn't charge transaction fees either for listing or for hiring. Instead the site is financed by advertising and gives businesses the option to pay for featured ads. If you’re looking to rent a car the site includes a price comparison engine to help you find the best deal.

There are of course other sites in this market, Taskrabbit.com and Rentmyitems.com for example, but they specialize in either services or goods. Hirejungle does both so you can rent out your car or hire a decorator via the same platform.

The site aims to be at the forefront of the sharing economy in the UK and Europe with plans to expand into India, Canada and the USA in 2014.

Barreneche sums up the site's attraction, "Here it is in simple terms: If you were to hire out something, let’s say your TV, which website would you use? If you have no idea, that's because you're another one of millions of people out there who could be earning income on things you don’t use".

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