Rent ‘n Connect was founded in 2012 by three young engineers from Istanbul’s Bosporus University. One the Co-Founders, Özgür Gen, spoke with YellAli. He explained that the widespread adoption of tablets in Turkey along with the rise of the sharing economy prompted the group’s original idea: tablet rentals to cafes and restaurants for customer entertainment. However, the group quickly identified the increasingly central role which tablets were playing in daily life beyond pure entertainment and recreation, along with the necessity of a reliable and fast internet connection. Accordingly, Rent ‘n Connect shifted its focus slightly to specifically address connectivity and technology needs for travelers visiting Turkey.
Today, Rent ‘n Connect is based in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and offers two products with unlimited 3G connections for daily rental: a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and a tablet pre-loaded with useful apps (also acts as a mobile hotspot).
Özgür explained that Rent ‘n Connect treats customer service and responsiveness as a primary goal, with staff always available for live support via phone, WhatsApp, chat and email. He identified this as one of the company’s true successes so far, receiving consistently positive feedback from clients about all aspects of the Rent ‘n Connect’s services. To date, the Rent ‘n Connect team have supported clients from more than 70 countries during their stay in Turkey. Rent ‘n Connect is also one of the 15 tech companies in the leading accelerator program in Turkey called E-Tohum, due their aspirations expanding the services beyond Turkey and become the leading connected device provider on demand.
Unique factors in Turkey combine to mean that Rent ‘n Connect offers reasonably-priced and painless solutions to a problem which consistently poses a challenges for tourists and foreigners in Turkey. These factors and obstacles include registration and tax requirements for foreign cellphones, documents required to buy a local sim card, language issues at cellphone carrier stores, Turkey’s geographic location (generally excluded from EU cellphone roaming deals), as well as restaurant and café Wi-Fi connections being relatively slow and inconsistent.
In the short term, the Rent ‘n Connect team aims to expand the company’s presence in airports, establish local face-to-face outlets in the Aegean region, increase its business client-base, as well as offer other devices to address the technology needs of tourists and foreigners living in Turkey.