My Startup: Tryatec, London

Sian Bradley's picture
by Sian Bradley
Tryatec founders Sabine Opris and Elena Sokolova

As part of our weekly My Startup feature, we look at some of the best startups from entrepreneurs in London. This week, it's Tryatec, a peer-to peer tech rental marketplace.

The platform promotes on-demand access to technology, that you pay for based on how long you need it. Users can rent out the latest gadgets, such as drones, VR/AR gear and professional cameras from individual sellers who may own gadgets that they don't use often. 

Founders: Sabine Opris and Elena V. Sokolova

Founded: In 2016, launched in February 2018

Website: Tryatec

We caught up with Sabine to find out more.

Why did you start Tryatec?

The idea for Tryatec was born when I wanted to buy a professional camera. I wanted to capture life in high-quality, but what I experienced before wasn’t anything close to this – weeks of reading camera reviews, recommendations and blogs, watching videos and talking to friends and photographers, only to find the one – the perfect camera. I thought there must be a better way for truly experiencing electronics, and I came up with the idea for Tryatec. Technology can empower, and it should be everyone’s right to access the latest technology conveniently.

Tell us more about (the tech behind) the product?

Whether it's a professional camera for your holidays, a drone for your special video shot or VR gear for the latest gaming experience, with Tryatec you can rent gadgets from £3.99. What's more, Tryatec is the easiest way to monetise and showcase your gadgets by lending them – 100% covered.

Tryatec facilitates the safe exchange of electronics. Like an Airbnb for tech gadgets, Tryatec connects gadget owners with gadget borrowers, while providing insurance, secure check-outs and convenient delivery options. Our smart risk technology helps to make the rental process as convenient and safe as possible for gadget owners as well as gadget borrowers.

Our website platform is coded in .NET and our app will be published this year for Android and IOS.

Where are you at right now?

Even though our beta testing website is less than a year old, our monthly visitors are in the thousands, and we’re soon reaching our first 1000 users. We want to offer our customers the best service possible, and with minimal marketing expenses, we’ve created data points over the past months to now multiply our traction in the long-run.

Tryatec gadgets
You can rent gadgets across cameras, AR/VR, gaming and audio

What are your aims for the next year?

There’s a lot planned, we’re very excited for this year. We’re continuously working on improving the platform and user experience, and so one of the aims for the year is to release the mobile app. Also, Tryatec’s mission is to make technology accessible for everyone – which sets the tone for our high growth aims this year. As we grow, another aim is to keep the focus on the trust and safety of the gadgets and our customers, to ensure smooth transactions each time.

What's been the hardest thing about getting Tryatec off the ground?

Sticking to the initial timeline for launching Tryatec was difficult, as building the platform took longer than expected. While we tried to take an MVP approach as much as possible – we couldn’t compromise on the trust and safety of the gadgets and our future users from the beginning. And so, we’ve had a longer than expected journey with lots of research, testing, and product building, to ensure the safety of the service from the beginning, before opening to the public. Even now, we’re still doing public beta testing, to continuously improve the platform in accordance with customer feedback.

Why should more people use your product?

Several reasons! On one hand, you can easily access a lot of awesome, high-priced, technology, without breaking the bank or cluttering your home. You only pay for what you use, and we almost never require any deposits.

Whether you just want to try virtual reality without having to buy the whole set, or whether you need a different camera for your photoshoot, this is the place to go to if you want the barriers to accessing great tech removed. On the other hand, you can always safely make money with your seldom-used gadgets. Also, gadget sharing contributes to reducing Co2 emissions, which is a great added bonus.

Do you believe you are filling a gap in the market? Why?

Of course. We’re very data and research driven, we’ve only launched Tryatec after making sure we’re fulfilling a real consumer need. In our market research, we found that more than half the people who own a tech gadget, such as a camera, use it for 12 days a year on average. We also noticed how difficult and expensive it could be to access the latest technology for students and young professionals. We built Tryatec to solve both of these problems, and it became the UK’s first tech-focused peer-to-peer sharing platform.