The “sharing economy” is one of the most fundamental economic shifts of the 21st century. Anybody with a new car today can drive for Uber or Lyft, getting more economic value out of that capital investment. Anybody with an extra bedroom can list it on Airbnb, extracting more economic value from their home. Anybody with extra money in the bank can loan it out on Prosper or Lending Club, getting a better return on capital. Need a fancy designer dress for a special evening? Getting one from Rent the Runway probably makes far more economic sense than buying one.
It’s a huge trend, all over the world. By some estimates, the sharing economy is expected to grow to $335 Billion by 2025.
So I was very interested when I met the founders of B-Sharing, a new startup which is bringing the power of the sharing economy to large capital equipment such as tractors, harvesters, and other agricultural machinery. This kind of equipment is expensive to purchase, and often only used during peak periods on the farm, leaving it idle and unproductive much of the year.
B-Sharing is developing an on-demand platform that makes it easy for farmers to find capital equipment and enter into a short-term lease agreement, getting immediate value. Similarly, farmers with idle equipment can make it available on the platform, extracting value from it in the form of additional cash flow. B-Sharing has built an AI-driven matchmaking engine that helps farmers find exactly the equipment they need, with predictive analytics that looks at seasonability and crop patterns to predict demand and deliver supply. And, while they are starting off in the agricultural sector, there are obviously many other sectors that have the same issue of large capital equipment that often sits idle.
The platform makes it safe and easy to create the lease agreement between the parties and can even handle the delivery of the equipment. No muss, no fuss.
When you look at pressing issues around the world today, it’s difficult to find anything more important than sustainable food production. The founders of this new startup are bringing the economic power of the sharing economy to farmers everywhere, giving them on-demand access to the capital equipment they need to efficiently plant, harvest, and deliver crops. Really great stuff.