These days new sharing economy travel companies launch every week, and I sometimes discover established businesses that I had missed. All of these get added to my spreadsheet of sharing economy travel services. Here’s the summary for May.
Showaround – this company launched in 2016 to connect travelers with local guides. You can hire someone for an hourly rate to show you around their local city. Some of the guides are free, perhaps to build up some good reviews or maybe they just want to meet people and practice their English. The rates seem quite reasonable, and you can talk to your guides in advance to customize your private tour.
Camptoo – expanded their this peer to peer campervan rental network into the UK this month. This business has been growing steadily since launching in the Netherlands in 2014. Their European presence now includes 11 countries. And Camptoo is also available in Cuba.
BlaBlaCar – the ridesharing giant based in Europe is continuing its acquisitions-based expansion. In April they bough Less, a short-distance ridesharing company in Paris. Less had only launched in beta five months prior. Less has a novel approach: drivers are paid per kilometer to incentivize ridesharing. They earn this money even if they don’t get any passengers along their routes. BlaBlaCar has so far focused on long-distance ridesharing. It looks like they are planning to enter the short distance market with this acquisition.
SwapX – Launched this month, this peer to peer currency exchange company is based in the UK. Members load GPB or Euros to their SwapX Mastercard and then can swap currency with any other user at market exchange rates. They offer other currency services for a fee.
Fat Lama raised $10 million in series A funding for their peer to peer rental market. Currently in the US and UK.
Outdoorsy – a peer to peer campervan and outdoor gear rental service expanded into New Zealand and Australia this month. This moves their service beyond U.S. and Canada into the other big RV rental market region of the world.