Lifestyle and business: collaborative consumption


If you have paid attention, you heard some suppers are really into collaborative consumption. What´s that about? Well, they define it as as “the renting and sharing of goods/services instead of buying them.” Sharing instead of buying. The best example comes up when you think about transportation: “For example, if you need a car only few times per month, it’s not reasonable to buy your own. You can just use one from ZipCar. You pay only for the time you use it, and you don’t need a garage, parking place, oil, winter tires, etc. It’s not only about cars though, the concept applies to anything.”

To get started, we need to embrace trust, they say. Suppers who organized the above mentioned meetup emphasized over and over on this. “As online reputation mechanisms are constantly developing it becomes easier to avoid trouble”, they state, “the safety of the sharing services is a very important, and many startups are seriously working on it”.

So, who is actually doing this, rather than just talk about it?

KASSI lets local communities create their own site for sharing. Kassi users can lend, give, sell or buy items and services from each other. It can be used to share rides, recycle old children’s clothes, borrow power tools or to get someone to walk your dog. Kassi is started in Finland, and in January 2012 part of Kassi team arrived to Chile to bring the service to Latin America. During last few months a lot of great things have happened: service has been translated to Spanish and four pilot communities have been started to test Kassi in the universities, companies and condominiums. Kassi has been opened also at where Chileans can start their own sharing groups and meet and help their neighbors, classmates and coworkers!

KORU is Airbnb for skills: a marketplace that lets anyone buy, sell, or trade specialized services (e.g. programming, Salsa lessons). People can set up profiles, list skills, and monetize their time via transactions or trades. Thus far, they have seen awesome participation from the Chilean community. The one challenge they have faced is the language barrier, but that can be seen as a positive as well. Many of their early users are taking advantage of the opportunity to trade Spanish lessons for some English tutoring. Koru will remain available to Chileans for the foreseeable future.

Every year there are thousands of foreign students coming to Latin America in exchange programs and internships, but there is no dorms or any formal housing system available for them.They usually had to look for a place by themselves despite they don’t know the city well nor the language. That is how MAMAROOF was born. Mamaroof is a trusted marketplace that provides an easy long term housing solution for foreign students in Latin America in the safest and easiest way. Mamaroof allows students to find roommates and places to stay, read property reviews, pay through a secure platform and consult the landlord for any doubts about the property. Also it gives the opportunity to local landlords to earn some money and split expenses by renting their extra space, connecting them with people from all around the world and sharing experiences.

LOCALGUIDING.COM was created because the founders think the best experiences are those when you get in touch with the local people, when you eat the local food, see local art, do an local activity…. That’s why they connect you with local guides who are passionate about their destination and know the place inside out. On you can find and book unique tours directly from the locals who organize it. While the traveler saves money, it directly benefits the local people – they get a fair wage.

CUMPLO is a peer-to-peer lending online platform, in other words, people can invest in other people. The person that requests money from others can set the amount, the term, and the maximum interest rate that they are willing to pay back the credit. Investors, on the other hand, can lend money to the people that they consider are a low risk and they can also evaluate if the interest rate and term is attractive to them.

Last, but not least: what about you? What do you do to consume less and share more?