Lukoton Opens Locks for Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is an incredibly hot and fast growing global trend. New startups continually pop into existence, and startups like AirBnB, WeWork and Uber are already disrupting their industries. The basic principle of the sharing economy is to utilize assets belonging to someone else that are not fully employed by that person. In Finland, we have several new companies that locate and rent underused spaces. Offices and meeting rooms are typical, but cars and bicycles might also be catered for in the near future. New entrants to the marketplace include service operators that want to monetise underused spaces in residential buildings.

The service operator doesn’t need to own the spaces and they don’t need a strong balance sheet. What they need is a digital service platform and marketing and sales actions. They just match underutilised spaces to clients that need them for a temporary purpose. Everyone wins: the original space owne earns extra money, the paying guest receives a valuable service and the service operator earns 10-20% commission per reservation. The bottom line may be lower than that from traditional business models, but one can only slow down the inevitable change.

In both the EU and in Finland, a substantial amount of money could be generated not only by underused spaces in residential buildings but also in municipal buildings owned by cities and the public sector. The ‘lean man’ may call this a waste. One bottleneck so far has been the absence of a service operator who can match spaces to those who need them on a sufficient scale to make business feasible.

Short term renting to outsiders is also problematic, because access rights management has traditionally been expensive and laborious. Handing over a key – whether mechanical or digital – to an outsider is always a risk. Lukoton contributes to this ecosystem by mitigating the risks associated with access and by helping service operators to run their business. Access rights management is no longer a problem.

Lukoton is now developing an access rights management solution together with several “shared spaces” stakeholders. Lukoton will increase the business efficiency of the sharing economy and the overall user experience to new heights, whilst also enabling people who live in the same shared spaces to benefit also from the solution. In addition, service routes with temporary access rights can be extended for other service providers visiting the buildings. This is the key to unlocking an efficiently growing shared spaces economy.

A-P Hietala

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