Create your own Airbnb with The Sharing Engine
June 14, 2012 by Terence LEE
The Sharing Engine has all the trendy buzzwords: Social commerce, sharing economy, peer-to-peer rentals. Put them all together, and you have a compelling new startup.
Put it simply, The Sharing Engine is a white label online service that lets you create your own Airbnb for any product category. If you’re new to the technology scene, Airbnb is a online short-term rental marketplace that lets a tourist rent vacation homes from owners in other countries.
Since Airbnb became the latest poster boy of Silicon Valley, clones have popped up around the world. There’s probably an Airbnb for cars, yachts, and anything under the sun that isn’t in use 24 hours a day.
It’s also the face of a wider phenomena sweeping the Western world — the sharing economy, a new mode of consumption that eschews owning items for borrowing them.
The trend is starting to take root in Asia. Singapore-based Rent Tycoon, an online rental marketplace for all-and-sundry, launched last year. Short term rental sites like Roomorama and 9flats have grown their presence in Asia by setting up Singapore offices.
The Sharing Engine hopes to nudge the sharing economy one step closer towards mainstream adoption. It’s doing this by lowering the barrier-to-entry for creating your own peer-to-peer rental marketplace.
The Singapore company behind it, HeyPal, claims they’re the first in the world to do this. The basic subscription plan has a setup fee of US$1,000 and a monthly charge of US$150, while the most feature-rich plan costs US$3,000 to start and US$1,000 or more per month to maintain.
Clearly, they’re aiming at startups that don’t want to hire a quality web developer yet or find it difficult to source for one. They even have a program to deliver websites to selected startups for free, and discounts for companies that join startup incubators like the Small World Group (Singapore) and York Butter Factory (Melbourne, Australia).
Medium and large corporations who want a share of the collaborative economic pie could find the plans attractive as well.
Besides all the bells and whistles necessary to create a functional online marketplace, The Sharing Engine comes equipped with payment processing tools, social network integration to aid virality, and support on the most advanced plan for an unlimited number of sellers and product types. It allows traditional buying and selling too.
HeyPal was started by CEO Jeremy Snyder, who formerly led Southeast Asia sales for Amazon Web Services and is a veteran of four startups, with two exits and two failures.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.
About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE