UrbanShare: An Introduction to Canada’s Sharing Marketplace
Today we have an interesting guest post from UrbanShare’s Alex Gontcharov, introducing his platform, which is a sharing marketplace for any type of consumer goods. As a sharing economy enthusiast, I am always fascinated by how companies are operating in this space. So enjoy Alex’s article, and leave him any feedback in the comments below!
UrbanShare.ca is a local on-line marketplace that allows its users to easily and safely lend and borrow virtually any item within their local community. We are currently based out of Vancouver, but plan on having significant presence in all major metropolitan areas across Canada.
We are convinced that collaborative consumption trend is here to stay and will only get stronger as it allows people to make or save money by putting available and underutilized resources to better use.
Whether you need a floor sander for small renovations, a bouncy castle for kids’ party, a tent for a camping trip, roof racks for your a weekend trip, or a telescope for stargazing night out, UrbanShare will help find it all safely and conveniently.
Whatever you need – chances are, somebody in the neighborhood is willing to lend it to you. Here is our explainer video if you have a moment to check it out.
The underlying idea for our online marketplace is simple – everybody can become a micro-entrepreneur and start making money within minutes by using our application. All you need to have is desire to share and a couple of good quality items that are still in decent shape and are used only occasionally. It’s a simple way to supplement your main income.
Our main goal is to create a high level of trust between users, so that sharing becomes a positive experience and is seen as an opportunity to gain both social and financial capital (it’s totally up to you to decide which one you value more). Hence, we will keep sharing on our platform local and between members of the same community. All items are protected by a $1000 UrbanShare guarantee for additional peace of mind of our customers.
We’ve been working really hard for over a year now. The product is almost ready and as it takes shape, we feel comfortable presenting it to our early adopters. We are also ready to market it more widely and certainly would like to thank the Casual Capitalist for the opportunity to do a guest post.
We are all trying to promote the same idea of the sharing economy and empower individuals to take matters into their hands in order to reach their financial or personal goals. Better we are able to “socialize the technology” behind the sharing economy, the more people will end up benefiting directly from it.
At present, the options available to Canadians to make money in the sharing economy are growing fast but are still somewhat limited. UrbanShare is here to make sure that it becomes easier for every Canadian who is interested in finding income-generating opportunities outside of their regular employment.
UrbanShare: What’s been done so far
The platform’s main functionality is in place for our desktop application. We are currently testing everything and fixing minor issues. We are also actively creating content for our blog and YouTube channel. Our YouTube Channel contains quite a bit of practical info and about half dozen of available “How To” videos. More are certainly coming out shortly.
The private beta soft launch of our desktop application is scheduled for September 2016. The responsive version which will allow everybody to use the application on every mobile device is due in late October and after rigorous testing will be released in early November.
The public soft launch is tentatively scheduled for mid-November in Vancouver. Our main effort initially will be concentrated in Vancouver and we expect first 200-300 items available for borrowing at that point.
We are looking forward to all the feedback, thoughts and suggestions we can get from the Casual Capitalist readers and contributors.
In the meantime, visit us at www.urbanshare.ca.
Or, contact us on Twitter @urbanshare, or email me directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Sharing, and stay tuned for more about the UrbanShare launch!