Asset-sharing website could be route out of hard times

8 Sep 20111 Share

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An interesting new web venture could help people who own assets from boats, jetskis and holiday homes to power tools and farm machinery to reduce the cost of ownership by entering into sharing agreements or swapping them for other things.

The site Sharespark.com could be a welcome boon for many people who, since the economic collapse, have found themselves owning valuable assets they can no longer afford or find relevant in their lives.

“People who have purchased items during the ‘boom’ times may struggle with repayments or upkeep as their income or spending power decreases,” explained Sharespark’s CTO and co-founder Paul Nolan.

“Conversely, those wanting to purchase items may find that due to the same limitations on their spending power, they cannot get credit facilities to allow such purchases. Considering both dilemmas, Sharespark.com believes that there is a synergy that exists that can allow those that ‘have’ an item to offer to share the item with those that ‘want’ such an item. In doing so, both parties’ needs can be satisfied.”

What’s on Sharespark.com?

Nolan explained that Sharespark.com caters for sharing everything from the most luxurious private jet, down to the most basic and rudimentary item, such as a power tool.

“From the more traditionally recognised fractional ownership perspective, it would not be unusual to find a boat costing say, €100,000, that is shared among six or more owners, who each pay a proportionate share of the €100,000 price tag.

“In addition, the multiple owners also pay a proportionate share of the maintenance and operating costs of the asset, thereby further diluting the on-going cost of operating the asset. Equally common in the traditional fractional ownership space would be assets including exotic cars, private jets and real estate.”

Nolan told Siliconrepublic.com that at present, Sharespark.com is mainly focused on being a connection point for various owners or people seeking to co-own assets they would normally struggle to afford.

“The site would be ideal for connecting a weekend DJ with another DJ who may own a set of decks but doesn’t use them outside of the weekend. Either one of the DJs would have the decks and could offer the other a share of their ownership or the two could enter into an agreement to jointly purchase a brand new set of decks, for example.”

Nolan said the plan is to add a downloadable set of legal templates to enable people to engage in comprehensive shared ownership agreements. The site will also include a directory of legal firms who could also provide services around shared ownership of goods.

Sharespark.com is self-funded by Nolan and his co-founders and they will look at venture capital investment as the site grows.

“We’re just letting it grow organically at the moment. It has been in development for over a year now,” Nolan said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com