BorrowFox, the Irish founded camera equipment rental company, has been bought by ShareGrid

The company built a peer-to-peer platform for sharing high-end photography and film equipment.

By Zuzia Whelan Reporter, Fora

BORROWFOX, THE CAMERA and film equipment sharing platform, has been acquired by US company ShareGrid.

Founded in 2015 by Arthur Pierse, Alastair Woods and Ciaran Burke, BorrowFox is headquartered in London with an office in Dublin. In 2018 it raised €250,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland and private investors to expand in the UK. 

The company built a peer-to-peer platform for sharing high-end photography and film equipment. ShareGrid is a similar business based in the US which is geared towards allowing filmmakers to access high level equipment at lower fees and earn income on their own gear. 

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Pierse said that the US company had “very ambitious plans” and “a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline” for the UK market. 

“It’s clearly a growing sector. There’s been a couple of well-funded companies in this space. ShareGrid…has really taken the bull by the horns over in the US. It’s a natural fit for them to move over to the UK and use that as a base for their European expansion,” Pierse said, speaking to Fora.

The lead-up to the sale was “an ongoing conversation for about seven or eight months”, Pierse said, adding that “the timing just felt right.”

The US company acquired all of BorrowFox’s assets and once it launches in the UK in the next couple of months users will be asked to transfer their accounts to ShareGrid. 

‘Other aspirations’

Following the acquisition ShareGrid has said it will host more than 100,000 customers and have more than $1 billion worth of equipment available for rental on its site. 

Pierse and his co-founders will remain at the company as it transitions to ShareGrid but won’t be staying with the company long term. 

He added that he has “other aspirations” in the start-up ecosystem – as a founder or venture capitalist – and that living in Ireland, with “the company based over in the UK, it just doesn’t suit me to continue”.

Get our Daily Briefing with the morning’s most important headlines for innovative Irish businesses.