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Unleashing the potential of idle items

Keane Bourke
Keane Bourke
// With listings for everything from suits to longboards, HIDLE is hoping to become the new way to hire.

With listings for everything from suits to longboards, HIDLE is hoping to become the new way to hire.

After a 25-year career spanning mining to manufacturing, Troy Donoghue says his peer-to-peer hire platform is ready to disrupt the hire industry and directly benefit anyone who’s interested – whether they’re looking to earn some extra cash, or just hire items for less.

Troy said the thought of breaking into the $4 billion a year industry came when his mind began to wander one day.

“The idea of HIDLE came to me one afternoon whilst driving to work and noticing items in front yards that had been there for week and months for sale, and thinking ‘surely these items could be put to better use,’” he said.

Troy said HIDLE’s biggest advantage is its flexibility.

“The idea of HIDLE is to have diversity, a large range that can appeal to the wider audience,” he said.

“HIDLE is also unique because it offers the ability for owners to list their idle items and have them picked up or delivered.

“The service is also not restricted to normal business hours, so consumers can book a trailer, for example, on their lunch break at work, or on a Sunday night they can book a hire for something Monday, when normal hire outlets are shut.”

These features are also what Troy said allow HIDLE to keep costs down.

“I guess a lot of the expenses [of traditional hire businesses] would be in their overheads, their brick and mortar stores, and also their availability,” he said.

“If there’s only certain amounts available, they can charge that higher rate.

“There’s not a lot of options for people to go to, so that’s why we try and create more options, more areas, more locations, and an online platform where there’s no brick and mortar overheads.”

The father-of-three said the audience for HIDLE is almost limitless.

“HIDLE’s customers come in many forms, from stay at home mums and dads, to busy parents, to try-before-you-buy customers to new revenue streams for business customers,” he said.

“The beauty of HIDLE is it’s free to register and list for the owner, and the commission HIDLE receives is paid from the hire fee, so the owner never loses out.”

Troy said the platform is already being used in ways he never could have imagined.

“We had a lady from Victoria hire a mobility scooter for her father who lives in Perth,” he said.

“It’s just so open to helping so many people in so many different situations, it’s mind-blowing when you sit down and think about it.”

Unleashing the potential of idle items
A screenshot of the HIDLE website.

HIDLE’s road to a soft-launch earlier this year wasn’t all smooth sailing though, with few options available to ensure the safety of goods listed on the platform.

“One of the most difficult parts so far has been the fact that no one offers peer-to-peer insurance for items,” he said.

“A solution has to be found, which has ended up being owner nominated bonds.”

“I think it’s a big thing in Australia at the moment, there’s just nobody doing it. We’re so far behind the times, in terms of other countries.

“If you look at France or the UK and even America, they all have business models and insurance models for peer-to-peer.

“I think the Australian business mindset is still a little ways away from the peer-to-peer insurance model, but … it’s starting to get there.”

Now, as Troy continues to grow the business, he said the power of social media has been invaluable.

“You need a lot of transactions to make it viable, that’s how you keep the price down,” he said.

“Reaching that wider target audience is a lot easier through Facebook, LinkedIn, as opposed to your local flyer drops and events where you’ll get some people through, but you won’t get anywhere near the numbers.

“It’s a numbers game at the outset, and at the start and to scale, it’s all about getting the exposure and the branding out there to as many people as possible.”

As for the future, Troy said his focus was just to keep growing the business.

“Our next steps are to hit the marketing hard and find out where our conversion to registration and list customers are…  and continue to work on other areas of HIDLE development in the background.”


For more on HIDLE, visit their website.

Read more of the latest news from the startup ecosystem here

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Keane Bourke

Keane Bourke

Currently studying Journalism and Law at Curtin University, Keane has a passion for communications and marketing, and shining a light on the best and brightest startups. Since late-October 2018, he has been working on a marketing project with Unearthed Solutions.
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