David wen avatar
David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. He has slept on the street in Tanzania before.
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TO Tablets

TO Tablets rents out data-enabled iPads at hotels to their guests.  We pay for the iPads, the apps, and the data and our hotel partners are in charge of selling to their guests.  We split the revenues.  Our custom app manages all the payments, allowing access to the iPad, and wiping all logins upon rental completion.  Currently, we do about $300-$750 in revenues per iPad per month, depending on the season.

Website: www.totablets.com

Background

I travelled quite frequently both personally and for work and I know how essential a 3G/LTE data connection can be.  Whether you’re trying to coordinate something with friends or need to check when that important call is, a data-enabled device can be a life saver.

The question was whether travellers would pay money to rent these devices.  To test it out, we got a small boutique hotel in Calgary to try renting out one iPad for us.  It became quite popular, so we added a second one, and a third, and so on.  After a while, we figured we were on to something.

Status

After our initial success, we started to iterate our product based on the hotel’s and our customers’ feedback.  I wrote a custom iOS app to handle payments and pre-authorizations, as well as to ensure that all logins on browsers and apps (such as Facebook and Twitter) are properly logged out of at the end of each rental.

Right now we have presence in Calgary and Toronto.  All our devices have over 75 apps, including a paid Netflix account.  We allow unlimited data use for the renter.

The best part of this business is that the day-to-day management is low - the hotels manage the sales on our behalf.  This means that I am able to run this concurrently with my Time Auction project.

David wen avatar
David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. He made his own alarm system for his room.