Startup Offers IPads On Rent To Tourists

Traveling without technology is now a thing of the past. But carting along the additional laptop baggage can be a pain. And what about when you intentionally leave your iPad at home, only to realize that you can’t quite live without it. Why can’t they offer an iPad at luxury hotels? Enter PadInTheCity. This ten-month-old startup provides iPads on rent to travelers – and is the first such venture of its kind.

The story of PadInTheCity began when co-founder and CTO Francisco Pena read about Australian Jetstar airline renting iPads to passengers. Pena was struck by the idea. Soon, he teamed up with Juan Gomez (now the CEO of the firm) to form PadInTheCity as an iPad rental business directed at tourists.

To begin with, PadInTheCity began its operations by targeting tourists in Madrid. Less than a year later, the company has gathered 250 iPads that it provides on rent. Each iPad costs 25 euros (about $35) as rent per day. However, to safeguard their interests, PadInTheCity places a hold on the renter’s credit card to the effect of 390 euros ($540). The hold is removed on return of the iPad. Additionally, the startup arranges for delivery and pickup as per the convenience of the customer.

The popularity of PadInTheCity is capable of spawning many copycat businesses. In fact, one of the company’s earliest customers went on to start an iPad rental business of his own. As of now, the startup is extending its reach to tourists, hotels and events.

The tourist iPads are largely created for entertainment and assistance. It comes with apps for games, select Spanish, English and German newspapers, hotel and flight check-ins, currency converters and more. The iPads that are supplied to hotels are quite similar to the iPads dedicated to tourist use. However, the hotel versions also serve as branding exercises for the participating hotels – PadInTheCity has rental contracts with several hotels in Madrid. Thus, hotel iPads offer wake-up calls, easy access to house-keeping as well as office apps for business travelers. The iPads that are rented out for events are slightly different. These are more tailored to business functions. So slideshow possibilities are a must. Plus, PadInTheCity offers customized apps for the certain clients.

Currently, PadInTheCity offers iPad versions 1 and 2. Each of these are provided within leather iPad cases. Customers enjoy unlimited internet access via WiFi or 3G. Also on offer are range of accessories, from TV connectors to plastic stands. The accessories are available both on rent and for purchase. The world’s first portable lock is set to become available for sale within the coming days.

Having been the pioneers in the iPad rental business is not enough for Gomez and Pena. The pair have had their taste of success, and they want more. Madrid may have been the starting point, but PadInTheCity is ready to move elsewhere. New York, Lisbon and Paris are on the radar for this startup. Profits are not on Gomez and Pena’s mind as of now. The pair is concentrating on expanding their business. The search is on for suitable angel investors. And the business is looking at other avenues as well – airlines, trains, cruises, and even healthcare. The profits are bound to roll in eventually. But PadInTheCity is willing to be patient for now.

Via: Smart Planet

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