Peer-to-peer camera rentals just got a little bigger. KitSplit announced yesterday the acquisition of CameraLends, a photography gear rental platform with a similar peer-to-peer business model. With the acquisition, KitSplit says it is now the largest peer-to-peer camera rental platform around.
KitSplit is to the photography industry what Airbnb is to the travel industry — it allows photographers to rent out their gear while someone else takes care of the details like rental insurance and actually finding renters. The platform helps photographers rent the gear they need — with large-scale rentals available, in New York City, Washington DC, and the Philadelphia and Boston areas.
With the CameraLends acquisition, the amount of available gear and locations is expanding, with all CameraLends users and listings migrating over to the KitSplit platform. Outside of KitSplit’s four main areas, photographers can still list their gear, but the area will be categorized as a “beta” area, which means that in that location some of the benefits aren’t fully available, like community events and courier delivery. Since CameraLends launched on the West Coast, the merger will likely open up a number of new locations with longer lists of available rentals.
With the acquisition, CameraLends founder Adam Derewecki will join the KitSplit team as an adviser. Current CameraLends users will have their profiles and listings transferred over to the KitSplit platform, gaining a few new benefits including comprehensive insurance.
The merger of the two platforms increases KitSplit’s tens of millions of dollars worth of accessible gear by about 50 percent.
While KitSplit launched in 2015 as a way to help freelancers find the gear they need, the platform is now used by several big companies, including National Geographic and NBC. The platform has since grown, likely because, unlike when you attempt to rent out your gear yourself, it offers insurance and applicable contracts. CameraLends began in 2013 on the West Coast with a similar business model.
With KitSplit’s largest competitor now part of its team, the firm is now looking to add offline brick and mortar photography rental outlets to the business.