It’s been a long journey while at the same time, it’s just getting started. How did Dripdrop go from a non-related school project in Taiwan to a larger umbrella sharing transformation spread across multiple countries and 20+ cities?
Rain in Taiwan
In 2013, founder of Abrella Andreas Søgaard left Denmark for a four-week school project in Taiwan. During his stay he noticed that the local businesses placed umbrella stands outside their shops every time it started raining. A just slightly naive Scandinavian, Andreas thought that the umbrellas were meant to be shared and used by the anyone walking by. What he didn't understand was that the real reason was, they did not want water inside the shop. We sincerely apologize if any locals lost their umbrellas during those days of rain.
Coming back home to Denmark, Andreas was inspired by his observations in Taiwan and initiated Abrella. Abrella is an umbrella sharing service based entirely on trust and sponsored by local businesses. From that point on, the interest in rain and how it affects the urban life grew and in 2014 Mattias Edström joined the team as a co-founder. For the first year, Abrella operated in a couple small/medium size danish cities. In 2015 the team received the award 'Entrepreneur of the Year' in Denmark and the project expanded outside of the national borders with international franchise partners.
Partners around Europe
Early 2016 the team chose to find an operational partner company in Denmark, who could take over the daily Abrella work. This enabled the team to focus 100% on developing the company and creating more initiatives to achieve their ultimate goal: Making cities better on rainy days. The growing network of country partners in northern Europe now includes caring and dedicated partners in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
The first Dripdrop thoughts
Always looking at the next steps, Abrella seemed to reach a ceiling of sorts, as the model had trouble working in large cities. It seems obvious now but it sure didn't at the time, that a model based on trust that umbrellas will be returned had a harder time working in large cities. Faced with this fact, we started thinking about what an optimal umbrella sharing solution for major cities would look like. Dripdrop is simple and intuitive today (even though it of course can and will be improved) but it has taken quite a few less well thought out iterations to get here. Failing fast has its' merits and it's certainly the case for us.
Setting the dream umbrella sharing team
As Dripdrop started to take shape, we had to fill in some holes in terms of competences. Our team consists of talented, experienced and dedicated people whom all wants to see umbrella sharing become a thing. For us, it makes much more sense that we share a product like umbrellas and this is especially true for larger cities.
Over 1,5 years after the first thoughts of a smart umbrella sharing service, Dripdrop Aarhus launched in the summer of 2018. Today Dripdrop is available in 25 locations and the usage is steadily increasing over time. The feedback we are receiving is a great confidence boost and useful information for future improvements.
We have some really cool stuff planned for the coming year(s). The “stuff” is still a bit secret but we hope have you can hold your breaths for just a little while. Let's just say for now that the service is going through a bigger transformation in both product, user experience and scale. Stay tuned for the rest of the ride.