Why Luxury Car Rental Startup Lurento Is Making Industry Challenges A Priority

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Mihailo Dhoric, founder and CEO at Lurento, decided to tackle the industry's challenges from the beginning on. He spoke to us to explain why this move was definitely the right choice:

How would you describe Lurento in a few words?

Lurento is a B2C marketplace for renting luxury and sports cars operating in Europe and the United Arabic Emirates.

What inspired you to create the car sharing platform? How did it all start?

I got interested in the market two years ago when I was asked to help local car rental company in Austria with their marketing strategy. Later, we started as an online agency connecting customers and car rental companies. That is how we got the opportunity to understand the market and its needs. The market is much bigger than we originally thought and pretty challenging.

Are you using Lurento internally? How does that affect the viewpoints in the team?

We haven’t rented a Ferrari so far, but some of us got the opportunity to drive great cars when visiting our partners – sure thing that we all became car fanatics in the meantime.

Sharing economy is becoming a bigger trend by the day. How do you think it will influence everyday life?

It is already making a major impact on our everyday lives, especially in the travel sector (accommodation, transport) and within the younger generation. Checking in an Airbnb instead of a hotel is a common thing now. More flexibility, lower prices, user-based rating systems are just some of many pluses.

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

That would be reaching out to local rental companies. There are a lot of broker companies on the market which are not the actual owner of the cars. They have better sales and marketing channels, but their commission goes from 30-50% over the local price. One of our top priorities is to build a trustful relationship with our partners, and the true challenge was exactly that – explaining the business model and how Lurento is going to help them.

The competition appears to be fierce. What makes Lurento stand out of the crowd? What is the key differentiator?

To put it shortly, quality of service and trusted marketplace. Big companies (Hertz, AVIS, etc.) provide economy level service for the luxury market, and that is our main advantage. There is no “or similar” markup for our vehicles – you get exactly what you choose at the price you were given. We don’t have hidden fees or surprise charges. Secondly, we protect both, the client and the service provider. We do security check-ups for each of our clients and visit each of our partners personally.

What’s the most considerable pivoting maneuver that the team has undertaken throughout the journey so far?

Deciding to move from an agency business to build the marketplace. We were in the market long enough to know what the main challenges will be. Some would decide to drop it, but we decided to put those challenges as our top priority and make that our advantage.

What is the most memorable moment throughout the history of Lurento?

The first online booking, of course. No emails or phone calls. This is not the usual thing in luxury car rental industry, as it is in the hotel business or with average car rentals. It meant that our client got sufficient information about the vehicle, that rental conditions matched his expectations and that he trusted our platform to put his credit card information in. This is what we are going for, completing the entire booking process online. It became more common now.

Lurento is based in Estonia, a rather small startup hub – if there is one thing you could wish for in improving the local and European startup ecosystem – what would it be?

The founding members are actually all from Serbia, but we decided to use the e-residency program in Estonia since it provides great opportunities for even less developed hubs. We would recommend this option to anyone without a local hub or a less developed hub like Serbia. This Estonian policy is very well developed, implemented and maybe not given enough public attention in the startup community.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

Do a lot of testing and talk to your users, whether they are companies or individuals. You have to challenge your idea all the time in order to get the right product for your customer.



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