This Albanian platform allows you to put your car up for rent any time you don’t use it



"Rentfromlocals" is a platform that aims to create a common market for renting cars or apartments between local businesses and individuals. The platform allows anyone who owns a car or apartment to place an ad and rent it out while it is unused.

Marin Nikolla, Kledjan Zaimi, and Elvis Koleka, came together to develop this idea in 2022 to fulfill their vision of people putting their unused cars up for rent at a reasonable price. They felt that this would bring benefits to all parties involved. More income for the lessor, more reasonable prices for the lessee, and perhaps a reduction of cars in circulation in the future, thus playing the role of a car-sharing platform. In an interview for Business Magazine Marin Nikolla revealed more information about rentfromlocals. 

Is it difficult being a startup in Albania? What are some things you would change in our entrepreneurial ecosystem? 

In general, it is difficult because there is a lack of strong mentors and investors to support startups. Incubators and accelerators are doing very good work, but they are in their first stages, while universities are almost non-existent. The central government has tried recently by giving grants, but they are insufficient and too bureaucratic, while the local government is almost nonexistent. Big corporations are prone to big and safe investments and are not focused on innovations. 

Is Rentfromlocals your first initiative?

Rent From Locals is our first initiative. These first 8 months after its launch, the results were quite encouraging, which gives us strength to grow more in the future. We hope to increase the market coverage as much as possible and digitize the bookings of as many local businesses as possible.

What is rentfromlocals? What is the innovation it brings? Who is it for? 

The innovation of Rent From Locals is that it offers a quick way for anyone to expose their offer to foreign tourists. Direct connection between the provider and the buyer, creating transparent competition through the point evaluation system. It is simple to use and costs nothing to providers. It only takes 2 minutes to register and publish your car or apartment. It offers facilities that make the process easy and secure. Its massification and fair competition will bring about regulation of this market, more reasonable prices, and an increase in the quality of service. As well as the increase in the volume of reservations due to the wider exposure to foreign tourists. 

How did the idea of its creation come about and how does it generate income? 

The idea came from similar C2C examples in the west, the classic example being Uber. The sharing economy is the way to go in the future, and we wanted to apply this to rental cars. Gradually the nature of the business changed somewhat, but without losing its essence. Income generation is based on the application of a commission for each transaction. Everything is very transparent, and during the booking process, it becomes clear to the customer what he is paying and to whom.

How has rentfromlocals developed in this first year? 

From 2022 the platform became a way for locals to expose their offers, but also served as a system where they store cars, reservations, etc. Some individuals published their cars. Very quickly it became popular among foreign tourists looking for more favorable prices beyond the leading companies in the market. Consequently, we later thought of adding apartments for rent to the offer. Our goal is to be an all-inclusive platform in the field of tourism, to allow small businesses, and individuals who own apartments, and cars, but not only, to rent them through the platform. The platform will enable them to digitize their business, as well as have a website that offers foreign customers online reservations, fast and safely. 

Which are your future steps with rentfromlocals?

We want to increase our reach in the Albanian market as much as possible. The flow of foreign tourists is constantly increasing, and our goal is that they are not oriented only to the big car companies or international hotel chains, but also to the local market, which has a lot to offer in terms of quality and prices. We want to make this local offering easily accessible via the internet. In the future, we see the possibility of expanding to other countries in the region, as we are confident in the potential of our solution. 

What advice would you have for Albanian startups that are still in the first steps?
  • Having an idea that is relevant to the market, based on proper research.
  • Setting small, achievable, short- or medium-term goals. Taking steps one after another.
  • Growing a successful business is a road with ups and downs. You have to know not to get demoralized in bad situations.
  • Decision-making with pragmatism and objectivity, not just enthusiasm.

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