Toby Skilton has developed a new app, Mutu, which he says in the current climate is a simple and cost-effective way to connect and acquire items you need.

"As the current Covid-19 lockdown shows and projects, New Zealand will look forward to a greater level of self-sufficiency and lower economic activity, which suggests a rising projection for renting and lending equipment rather than an outright purchase," Skilton says.

Mutu is short for the Latin word Mutuari, meaning 'to lend or to borrow'.

Skilton said he wanted a name that was catchy but also resonated with the brand.


"I found that the first humans to recognise using lending and borrowing as a form of trade was the Romans."

The idea for Mutu was formed when Skilton and his partner Elise travelled the world for 10 months after finishing university.

"We were on a tight budget and it was impossible to pack the gear we needed to do the things we love.

"We would often want to go camping, paddle boarding, surfing and fishing, but didn't want to buy the items to use just once before travelling to the next destination."

The couple also used the Couch Surfer platform which allowed them to stay with locals for free.

It was during these stays that Skilton realised many people had commonly desired items collecting dust in their homes.

Back home in Christchurch Mutu was developed.

"As a society we are all becoming more conscious of the things we buy and our individual impact on planet Earth.


"So we are trying to change attitudes towards ownership by encouraging communities to share instead of buy."

Mutu is a team of seven and according to their website, each brings broad experience in business development, software development, finance and marketing.

Skilton's profile says he thrives on innovation, problem-solving, strategic thinking, leadership and relationship building.

He was a former owner/operator of Scarfie Repairs, a student to student rental home repairs and renovations business.

Skilton says they expect Mutu to be live in September and they are closely monitoring the implications of Covid-19.