Umbrella-Sharing Startup Loses Most of Its Umbrellas

posted by Kate Seamons - 

 If you have a habit of regularly misplacing your umbrella, Sharing E Umbrella feels your pain. 

The startup intends to do what its name suggests: provide shareable umbrellas—like a rain-themed version of Citi Bike—in China. Except not even three months after launch, it has a big problem in the 11 cities it has a presence in: Most of the 300,000 umbrellas it started out with have now been lost. 

The Guardian suggests the fault lies with the company's founders: While a would-be umbrella user must pay a roughly $2.80 deposit and about $0.07 per half-hour of use, the paper reports no additional penalty is levied for failing to return an umbrella. The Verge suggests another problem, that "the startup apparently didn't provide enough information on how customers can return the umbrellas when they're done."

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