“I found an obvious problem that I wanted to solve”
David Knutsson, Founder of Parently
During a dinner last year, the idea came like a bolt out of the blue – why invest in expensive children's equipment that children grow out of in a few months? This was the start of Parently, which today is Sweden's only rental company of premium children's equipment, where the producer owns the products, such as prams, car seats, bikes and cots.
When you subscribe to Parently, you get access to a wide range of items. You can choose whether you want to receive a tailor-made package suited to your needs, or whether to pick out your products yourself.
David Knutsson is the father of a young child and founder of the Parently service. In 2020, he decided to leave his job as an innovation consultant to focus on his idea.
“I found an obvious problem that I wanted to solve, so I went from having a salary to putting all my savings into starting up Parently from scratch. But with a 2-year-old at home, an ongoing pandemic and a start-up, it hasn't been easy.”
Parently fills a clear gap in the market, for families and manufacturers alike. They give European producers the opportunity to offer products as a service through their platform. The producers retain ownership, creating a bridge between the producer and the customer that has not existed in the industry before.
“We give producers the chance to meet more sustainability goals and hopefully they will start offering product rental themselves in the future, but it is a challenge as circular business models have not come very far in Sweden yet. For example, e-commerce used to be a challenge for many producers. Now, everyone offers it.”
The advantages of Parently are that you get access to multiple products and brands on one platform. All you have to do is log in to the site to choose which subscription or products you want, how long you want to rent them for and where you want everything delivered. Parently cleans and safety-tests products between subscriptions, so you can be sure that everything you receive is clean and safe. It’s a cheaper, more sustainable and time-saving solution for parents.
“A survey of 400 individual parents revealed three main reasons for signing up to Parently. A third use Parently to reduce their carbon footprint, a third do it for the simplicity it brings to everyday life, and the final third use it to spread their costs.”
Parently users can choose their subscription, the number of products they want to rent, and therefore how much they want to pay.
“According to the Swedish Consumer Agency, each family spends an average of SEK 20,000 on children's products in the first year alone. Children's items have also become a status symbol in the same way as clothes, cars or bikes. We make it possible for more users to enjoy high-quality products at lower prices.”
The future looks bright for Parently. The range is growing, and by the end of 2021 they plan to expand to Norway and Denmark. There is also a growth plan in mind, mainly for the Netherlands, which is further ahead than Sweden when it comes to circular business models.
“We're not there yet, but it's clear that the Nordic countries in general, and Sweden in particular, are working on this. More and more services like M and Parently are helping to create access. And we welcome them all!”
Tune in to our podcast Thank you for sharing, where M’s Sustainability Lead Steinar Danielsen invites interesting guests to talk about issues around sustainability and the opportunities to reclaim space, time, and money in our lives and cities.
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