From party lights to turntables, smoke machines to speakers, the costs of equipment for hosting an event all add up, and after the party ends such items are often left in storage gathering dust.
In 2019, Sydney-based startup Gecko applied the principles of the sharing economy to resolve this market inefficiency as a peer-to-peer marketplace, but since then has evolved to become a go-to platform for event rental businesses to reach customers.
It is a business model that has just attracted $350,000 in pre-seed funding with accelerator Techstars as the lead investor, with participation from US investors Goodwater Capital and Launch House.
Gecko was selected to join the inaugural Techstars Tech Central Sydney 2023 Accelerator, powered by the NSW Government.
Gecko aims to transform the event rental experience by simplifying the process and enhancing rental businesses’ profitability. By seamlessly integrating with rental software, the platform empowers rental businesses to complete sales within seconds, eliminating tedious delays that plagued the industry.
The company offers additional features such as cross-selling, referrals and rebooking enabling rental businesses to increase their revenue potential by 50 per cent.
The idea for Gecko was born when co-founder Ben Kennedy was working for his mother’s wedding venue and encountered the frustrations and challenges associated with renting event equipment from rental businesses.
"Events are stressful, the whole process of renting made it so much more painful," says Kennedy, who co-founded the business with Lal Birch and Cody Fisher-Peel.
"You’d ring up rental businesses and when you finally got a hold of them they’d ask you to send them an email where they’d get back to you 2-5 days late."
Currently, Gecko boasts a network of over 120 rental businesses on its platform, with five rental businesses choosing Gecko for each sale they make.
With the new funding secured, the Gecko team is dedicated to achieving product-market fit in the events industry in Australia, with plans to expand into other categories in the near future.
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