Bike sharing companies are booming right now, especially in China. Hoping to expand the ‘sharing’ market, several startups have gotten into the umbrella sharing market. Unfortunately these umbrella companies aren’t doing so well.
After only a few weeks the company, Sharing E Umbrella, which was operating in 11 major Chinese cities, has announced that nearly all of their 300,000 umbrellas have gone missing. The service works by customers putting down a deposit for the umbrella, then paying a very small hourly fee through a smartphone app.
Umbrellas are a little different than bicycles. Bikes can be parked virtually anywhere, but an umbrella needs to be hung on a railing. So, the company figured that the best place for the umbrella would be at the customer’s home. Not surprisingly people just skipped last step and kept the umbrellas.
Sharing E Umbrella has already lost what amounted to a 10 million yuan investment, but they haven’t given up. The company plans to release another 30 million umbrellas by the end of the year. Lets just hope they have a plan to fix the problem.