Irish-founded camera marketplace BorrowFox acquired by ShareGrid

30 Oct 2019


BorrowFox was launched to offer photographers, freelancers and filmmakers a marketplace to rent high-end cameras and film equipment.

BorrowFox, a start-up co-founded by Tipperary native Arthur Pierse, along with Alastair Woods and Ciaran Burke, announced today (30 October) that it has been acquired by US-based photography equipment marketplace ShareGrid.

Set up as a high-end equipment-sharing marketplace for photographers, freelancers and filmmakers, UK-based BorrowFox was launched in London in 2016. In 2018, the company closed a €250,000 funding round from Enterprise Ireland and private investors to expand beyond London, into other UK cities and Dublin.

Ahead of plans to launch its own service in the UK in 2020, ShareGrid has now agreed to buy the start-up for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, ShareGrid expects to host more than 100,000 users and at least $1bn worth of film and camera equipment on its worldwide marketplace.

Already established in the US, ShareGrid enables users to rent film and camera equipment such as cinema cameras, still cameras, lenses, audio equipment, drones and other accessories. The platform also allows photographers and filmmakers to rent studio spaces, locations and production vehicles, and provides custom production quotes, insurance and a buy-and-sell service.

Marius Ciocirlan, co-founder and CEO of ShareGrid, said: “At ShareGrid, our mission is to enable all filmmakers and photographers, regardless of background, budget or location, to have access to cutting-edge and affordable equipment.

“We see the acquisition of BorrowFox as an exciting opportunity to enter the UK market, and build on a company that has had a similar vision from the start.”

An expanded service

Pierse, CEO of BorrowFox, added: “We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into creating and growing the BorrowFox platform in the UK over the last few years, constantly redefining and improving the service to meet the growing needs of our passionate creative community.

“It’s exciting to know that our users will soon receive an expanded service from ShareGrid, having access to an even wider offering of film and camera equipment and joining a global community of talented creatives.

“Much like BorrowFox, ShareGrid offers affordable and immediate access to high-end equipment, and also includes innovative features such as custom quotations, a buy-and-sell marketplace, instant insurance, automated fraud monitoring, sophisticated ID checks and dedicated customer support.”

According to Pierse, many BorrowFox users are now earning between £3,000 to £5,000 per month from leasing out their idle equipment. “With this supplementary income, they can focus on pursuing what they enjoy most – telling stories and creating content.”

According to TechCrunch, BorrowFox’s co-founding team may leave the company following the acquisition.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic