GeerGarage is a marketplace that empowers retailers to outsource rental to the community.

Santa Barbara, CA, USA

One Liner

One Liner
GeerGarage is a marketplace that empowers retailers to outsource rental to the community.

What Problem We are Solving

Existing rental solutions for retailers aren't profitable. Retailers have 3 different options right now when considering whether to offer rental. They have all been tried and haven’t worked out.

  1. In-store rental: Inventory management and logistics is too expensive. In-store space that is used for rentals also directly takes away from floor space that can be used to sell goods.
  2. Online shipping: This centralizes the inventory management / logistics but then slaps shipping costs on top. Shipping is too expensive. Items also cannot make money for retailers while they are in transit.
  3. 3rd party software: These solutions can somewhat ease the inventory management / logistics. However, they ultimately still require the retailer to transact rentals in-store.

About Us

About Us
GeerGarage is a 3 sided marketplace that empowers retailers to outsource rental to the community and allows them to grow / engage with their customer base unlike ever before. Retailers refer customers to rent & lend through GeerGarage and in exchange earn revenue from rental transactions and store credits that are redeemed by customers when shopping at their store. Rental is incredibly difficult for retailers to make profitable and our marketplace provides them with a fully managed and outsourced solution. 

For the last 3 years GeerGarage has had a direct to consumer business model and go to market strategy. Our main focus has been to create a seamless peer-to-peer rental experience for outdoor gear amongst locals and we used various marketing efforts to grow renters & lenders. This approach has allowed us to tweak our experience and validate key hypotheses about the way that we facilitate rentals between consumers. A GeekWire profile on GeerGarage was recently published that explains our unique approach to rental. This approach is premised on the key insight that most renters do not care about the specifics of the things they are renting (brand, specific items within a brand, etc.). They care only that the item will be adequate for its intended use. 

GeerGarage renters put down their credit card before ever seeing the items they will ultimately receive. After telling us what they want and giving us their card info, we do the work for them to match them with an available lender who has what they need. This gives the renter a seamless way to access equipment in the community without having to do the work themselves to find it. Our matching approach has been validated within the Seattle market with hundreds of rentals and we have >$15K of revenue to demonstrate renter willingness to pay.

After further analysis, however, we have determined that marketing directly to consumers to grow supply and demand in our marketplace is not scalable. As such, we have adapted both our business model and go to market strategy to bring in the retailer as a third stakeholder. Retail partnerships solve the chicken and egg bootstrapping problem that results from the marketplace business model. Retailers will now bring in their existing communities to GeerGarage and we will provide the ecosystem for everyone to benefit.

Venture Highlights

GeerGarage has fully validated our approach to peer-to-peer rental. We have a fully baked product that we are now ready to supercharge through retailer partnerships. Our journey mastering peer-to-peer rental has been validated with hundreds of rentals and >$15,000 of revenue in the Seattle market. We have proved the following hypotheses about rental:

  • People are willing to pay for peer-to-peer rentals.
  • People want to make money from lending out their things.
  • Most renters do not care about the specifics of the things they are renting (brand, specific items within a brand, etc.). They care only that the item will be adequate for its intended use. This key differentiating insight is the predicate that led us to design the automated lender fulfillment engine that powers GeerGarage. 
  • People are willing to pay for rentals with automated lender fulfillment.
  • People are willing to accept “backup items” suggested by the website as substitutes for any item they may have initially requested. For example, we have validated that renters may request a 2-person tent but are typically willing to accept a 3-person tent if that was the only tent available.
  • People are willing to rent things from multiple lenders. For example, a renter who wants to go camping may need many different items (sometimes more than 10). One lender may not be able to fulfill a large order like this in its entirety. We have validated that most renters do not object to satisfying their needs across multiple lenders.

Since incorporating the retailer as a 3rd stakeholder in our marketplace we have engaged 4 different retailers and are close to signing formal partnerships with several of them. These retailers are in WA state (Mtn Gear, Wonderland Gear Exchange, & Wildernest) and CA (Eze Ryders). We aim to use successful partnerships with small local retailers as a springboard to secure larger partnerships with national retailers like REI and The Home Depot.

GeerGarage also received the following grants in 2023:

Business Model

Business Model
GeerGarage earns service fees on every rental transaction facilitated by our platform. Our take rate is ~21%. A breakdown for a rental that is referred by a retailer worth $115 is below. In this transaction, GeerGarage takes home $25.

  • Renter pays $115 total for the rental.
    • $100 worth of items is rented (the rental fee). 
    • A $15 service fee is charged by GeerGarage (15% of the item fee) for finding them a lender. We earn this fee exclusively.
  • From the $100 rental fee:
    • GeerGarage earns $10 (10% of the rental fee).
    • The retailer and the lender split the remaining $90 (90% of the rental fee).
  • The $90 is split between the retailer / lender in 2 different ways:
    • If the lender chooses a cash payout:
      • Lender earns $70 in cash
      • Retailer earns a $20 referral kickback
    • If the lender chooses a store credit payout:
      • Lender earns $80 in store credit, only redeemable at the retailer
      • Retailer earns a $10 referral kickback

Based on data published by existing peer-to-peer service providers for retailers (Recurate & Archive), ⅔ of lenders will choose store credit for payout. When GeerGarage lenders opt for store credit payout, 90% of the rental fee is returned to the retailer.

Competitive Advantage

Turnkey circularity backed by flexible and automated matching technology

We are unique. Unlike other rental marketplaces, GeerGarage does all the work to contact and then automatically match renters with available lenders who have the right gear, available in the right place, at the right time, at the right price. We frequently see renters who need as many as 10-15 different items for an upcoming trip. Absent GeerGarage, it takes a lot of work to find the right lender(s) in such a scenario. Lenders oftentimes use their equipment themselves, travel or are otherwise unavailable to lend on requested dates. We remove the hassle of finding and contacting available lenders in the community and let renters focus on the fun - planning and taking trips outdoors, for example.

Our core differentiating technology is the automated multi-item rental fulfillment engine that we use to facilitate matches between renters and lenders. This fulfillment engine does the following: 
  • Automated lender outreach and matching - triggered by people seeking gear to rent. This process uses stack ranking across many dimensions to prioritize which lenders we contact.
  • Multi-lender matching to fulfill larger rental orders (e.g., “we don’t have one person with all 10 items you need, but here are two people who have everything”)
  • Backup item substitution (e.g.,  “we can’t find someone with a 2-person tent as requested, but here is someone with a 3-person tent”)

A sticky product backed by community
Once we onboard retailers to our platform we become the end-to-end rental provider for them that also powers their customer community. This type of integration is difficult to undo and if we move fast we can capture many retailers and establish strong barriers to entry through these partnerships.


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Go-To Market Strategy

Business Strategy
Our first customers will be small local retailers. They will find out about our product through B2B sales tactics, including networking, direct outreach etc. We pitch them to partner with us and then sign formal partnership agreements to become their sole rental provider. We will use these initial partnerships as a springboard to land partnerships with large national retailers. We can integrate nationwide retailers into our existing marketplace or white-label our software to run exclusively under their name.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysys
Direct competition:

  • In-store rental: REI tried rolling this out nationwide in 2019 and learned that it doesn’t work. Managing inventory in-person is too expensive. It also takes up space in the store that could otherwise be devoted to selling things. They rolled back the program in 2022. Currently of their 11 stores in WA state, only 3 still offer a full rental program. We hope to make REI a customer very soon.
  • Online shipping: Both Dicks Sporting Good and Eddie Bauer tried rolling this out nationwide in 2022 by partnering with the startup Arrive. Arrive served as their shipping logistics provider and also built their rental websites. Both Dicks and Eddie Bauer quietly closed their rental offering in early 2023. Arrive has now pivoted to be mainly a resale platform after they realized shipping is too expensive for a rental business. It still requires managing inventory in-person and adds shipping costs on top of that. We hope to make both Dick's and Eddie Bauer customers very soon.
  • 3rd party software: Companies that use this still ultimately need to manage the inventory and transact the rentals themselves. This is a band aid for the inherently flawed in-store business model. Companies like MyTurn or Gearo both provide software like this.

Indirect competition:

  • Resale platforms: These competitors come in several different flavors, outlined below.
    • 3rd party software & logistics providers: Both Trove and The Arrive Platform now provide these types of solutions for retailers. They are fully dependent on shipping and thus are not economical for rental.
    • Branded resale marketplace platforms: Startups Recurate and Archive have both launched a very similar offering to GeerGarage, but for resale. Resale, however, is a very different business than rental. GeerGarage's experience and technology is focused on rental specifically.
Competitor Website
Recurate www.recurate.com
Arrive Outdoors arriveoutdoors.com
REI www.rei.com


We are open to meeting up to grab a coffee, or just to chat. We would really enjoy your feedback and insight into our venture and would be happy to discuss anything that you are currently working on to see if we can be of service!



Name Amount
Amount Left $300,000.00
Amount Raised (This Round) $0.00
Amount Raise To Date $30K
Type of Raise Grant

Grant Dollars Awarded



Business Stage

Business Stage
Paying Customers

Business Type

Business Types
Investor-Backed, Venture Capital Backed


Social Entrepreneurship

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