The online camera equipment rental business just witnessed an 800 pound gorilla being born as CameraLends was bought by KitSplit to become the largest online camera rental portal.
“There are more content creators today than ever before and they all need access to top quality, affordable gear. The CameraLends acquisition will further our goals of democratizing access to great gear and empowering creators.” – Lisbeth Kaufman, KitSplit Co-Founder and CEO, Press Release via Forbes
Known as the “Air BnB” of the camera rental industry, KitSplit’s website says that they seek to be the main rental hub for getting the gear you need, so you don’t have to look anywhere else. But like CameraLends, ShareGrid and other so-called peer to peer camera and gear portals.
“We’re passionate about putting the essential tools to create within arms’ reach,” says the KitSplit website. “(We) help filmmakers, photographers, and artists get the gear they need to make incredible work. We also help equipment owners safely make money renting gear out when they’re not using it.”
They’re also founders of the Virtual Reality Pitchfest. Taking place in New York City, the VR Pitchfest will take place on March 1st and will give VR creatives the opportunity to make connections and pitch their VR project to executives and those who like to fund projects in this emerging genre. The projects are also judged by a panel of creatives from Tribeca, Within and others, and there will also be prizes given that include rentals from KitSplit.
“When we first met Adam, the founder of CameraLends, we knew it was a natural fit. Our values are aligned with the CameraLends community and vision. We are both focused on empowering creators, broadening access to gear, and helping creators who own gear safely make extra money renting it out.”
Sounds to me like they’re quite forward thinking, and adding CameraLends cache of artists willing to rent out their gear is a natural match. But it’s also going to put a lot of pressure on the rest of the peer to peer segment to step up and compete. Will we see more consolidation in this category? How is it going to affect the peers rental opportunities?
KitSplit says that offering a larger community and making more gear available will only be beneficial to all involved, as it creates a kind of gravity well that will draw more shooters looking to rent necessary gear.
“KitSplit and CameraLends members are now part of the world’s largest community of visual content creators renting gear to and from each other,” the announcement says. “This means it will be easier than ever for you to get your hands on the most cutting edge equipment and meet more inspiring collaborators than ever before.”
KitSplit also brings to the table their gear insurance program, which will likely become even more affordable with the increase in rental traffic. KitSplit has already pre-populated all CameraLends members with login accounts, and have already created individual gear listings, so that users can hit the ground running under the new scheme.
To sign in, users just go to this link, and input their CameraLends Username and password. Not all CameraLends areas are currently completely covered, however, with some still being beta tested to shake out the kinks.
For more information on the merger, visit the KitSplit CameraLends FAQ here.
Hat Tip: Forbes