Daan Weddepohl is the founder of Peerby.com, which is a website and iPhone app that enables people to borrow the things they need from others in their neighborhood in 30 minutes.
What inspired you to start Peerby and how did you do it?
I love technology and I love people. I find it amazing that that i’m able to use technology to bring people together. Peerby gives people an excuse to ring their neighbours doorbell and help each other out; Two strangers meeting for the very first time. It’s how human relationships begin.
Around the world, platforms for sharing goods are having difficulties to gain momentum. However, thus far, all my requests through Peerby have been fulfilled. Why does Peerby work?
Peerby is fundamentally different from all sharing sites I’ve seen out there. Let’s say you need a power drill, a barbecue, a cocktail dress, a chocolate fountain or an ice cream machine. You go to peerby.com or download the iPhone app and you tell us what you need. We’ll send out 100 gnomes to ask your neighbors if they can help you out. That’s the big secret.
Ok, it’s not really gnomes. We send out e-mails and app notifications. Your neighbor can respond with one simple click. And if you see an offer you like, you can open a chat and pick it up. We are the only platform that starts from the request and creates supply by asking around. In this way we fulfil 80% of all requests with an average response time of 30 minutes.
Last year Peerby participated in the TechStars London class. How did this contribute to the development of Peerby?
TechStars is an amazing experience. We are surrounded by extremely bright people that help us a lot with shaping our strategy, building our business and getting in touch with the right partners. It helped us to stay focussed on the right things and it’s helping us with our international expansion.
What are Peerby‘s key challenge’s in 2014?
Our big goal is to provide instant access to everything for everyone everywhere. And i really mean everyone. To reach that goal we’ll have to grow a lot. We’re trying to reach out to every corner of the planet by connecting to local ambassadors. I’d like to invite everybody that wants to promote sharing in their neighborhood to give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or @peerby on twitter.
You have been working intensively on building Peerby over the past few years. How did this influence your life?
Peerby changed my life a lot. It changed my view on human kind. I discovered first hand that people are wired for helping each other out. They love to share. The amount of kindness i’ve witnessed is amazing and I hope I can give others the opportunity to witness the same thing.