Peerby facilitates free or paid-for transactions between neighbours to share products, saving users money and reducing environmental degradation.
When Daan Weddepohl’s belongings and house were destroyed by a fire in 2009, he was left with nothing. He turned to others for help, and was surprised to find how many people came forward to share their things with him. It was from this experience that Peerby was born.
Three years later, the beta version of Peerby launched in the Netherlands as a platform enabling free transactions between neighbours for borrowing goods and products. In only four years it enabled over 150,000 transactions, gained 250,000 users, spread to other major cities in Europe and the US, and raised €2.2 million in one weekend from crowdfunders, making the crowd its largest shareholder.
Unlike other product-sharing platforms, where people list what they are willing to share, Peerby relies on users requesting items they need. Once a request is made, an algorithm asks the 100 closest Peerby neighbours if they have the item available to borrow. The platform achieves a match for over 80% of requests within 30 minutes of their posting.
Peerby believes that having access to a product is more important than owning it. This central philosophy has triple impact. It has economic impact because users can save money and storage costs by borrowing products as and when needed. It has social impact because neighbours get to know each other and interact with one another and aims to reduce our impact on the environment by increasing sharing of existing products and reducing the need to make new things. .