Nearby has a way to borrow stuff you need, but don't want to buy - Technical.ly DC

Business

Jul. 3, 2017 12:02 pm

Nearby has a way to borrow stuff you need, but don’t want to buy

Cofounder Kelsey Kerr left her job to launch the sharing economy app in May.

Nearby got the word out in person at Glover Park Day.

(Courtesy photo)

Kelsey Kerr believes the stuff that’s sitting in closets, cabinets and basements can stop collecting dust, and start getting used by others. In the meantime, it can also generate some money.

In May, Kerr and a small team launched Nearby, an app that helps facilitate transactions involving everyday stuff, like tools or stuff for the kitchen. While there is an option to sell items, the app also allows short-term rentals. Effectively, it allows people to pay to borrow an item.

The idea, Kerr said, is to save money  — whether it’s saving an outright purchase or recouping costs for people who bought stuff that is sitting around. Kerr believes D.C. is an ideal place to launch since it has lots of people moving in and out.

“This app is really going to apply to people who are straight out of college or just moved to a new area…Those people would be target users,” she said.

Kerr found a need for such a service in her own life, whether it was to borrow a food processor for a potluck or camping gear for a weekend trip. She started working on it about a year ago with cofounder Kei Sakaguchi. They split up development duties, with Kerr handling Android development and Sakaguchi working on iOs. Kerr left a job as a software engineer at the Washington Post in May, and Nearby launched in D.C. a few days later.

The service requires a willingness to lend out stuff to people you may not know. The initial concept was to allow only for requests, but Kerr said they made changes as a result of feedback from people who said they would willingly post items.

“A lot of people wanted the ability to go and list their stuff,” Kerr said.

Along with those listings, the version that launched sends push alerts about recent requests in the area. For users looking to borrow, it shows items that are available in a user’s vicinity using geolocation. The two people involved can negotiate the price. The company makes money via a fee of 14 percent + $.30 on each transaction.

Advertisement

Kerr is aware of a potential competitor in Denver, but right now the team’s focus is growing where they are. That involves getting out and meeting folks who could become users.  Along with meetups and other tech events, Kerr said they also picked up a spike in downloads at the Glover Park Day neighborhood festival.

“We’ve definitely found that the face-to-face interaction results in more people downloading,” she said.

The startup is also exploring launching on college campuses, and is raising money via Kickstarter.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

Advertisement

TransitScreen’s MobilityScore partners with real estate websites

Mapbox announces 1 million users and counting

Rockville-based Homesnap raises $14 million Series B

SPONSORED

DC

VR is cool, but it isn’t mainstream. This local company has a fix for that

Philadelphia

160over90

Full Stack Web Developer

Apply Now
DC or Madison, WI

VEDA Data Solutions

Back End Developer

Apply Now
DC or Madison, WI

Veda Data Solutions

Front End Developer

Apply Now

GoodSeeker closes $1.3 million seed round

This fintech company is helping veterans start businesses

These are the 20 most promising startups in DC: realLIST 2018

SPONSORED

DC

These DC-based founders drop some serious knowledge in our Tomorrow Toolkit ebook

Baltimore

Protenus

Marketing Associate

Apply Now
Washington, DC

Nava

Infrastructure Engineer (DC, SF, NYC)

Apply Now
WASHINGTON, DC

Nava

Research Lead (DC, SF, NYC)

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!