In the U.S. the self storage industry is pretty well developed across the country. Every corner is not covered, but there are not many places that are not. So it is only natural that entrepreneurs are now try to expand on the idea of self storage and try to turn it in to a new and exciting product.
However, in the UK the industry still has plenty of room for growth, but that is not stopping one German company from trying to revolutionize it anyway.
A German company called Rocket Internet who likes to back start-up companies has decided to enter the self storage industry in the UK starting in London. Rather than just open another typical self storage facility though they added a twist to it.
They want to make it—SpaceWays–an on-demand style self storage business.
“We are bringing technology and added customer service to an old-fashioned industry in hopes of expanding the market,” Rob Rebholz, a SpaceWays co-founder.
When people want to make use of a self storage facility they have to hope that they choose the right sized unit. You don’t want to not have enough space, but at the same time you hate to have too much unused space.
Once you have your unit picked out you still have to pack up whatever you want to put in storage (after you find/buy enough boxes), transport them to the facility in question, and unpack them. Whenever you want anything out of it you have to drive back, find it in the unit, and drive back home.
SpaceWays wants to knock out a lot of the busy work that comes with using self storage. All customers have to do is contact them and they will deliver boxes to your doorstep. When you are darn packing them up call back and they will come pick them up and place them in to storage.
Should you ever need something all you have to do is call them to schedule a delivery and they will bring your box/boxes back to you.
“Our vision is to be the No 1 storage company worldwide that provides logistics or storage services to end users,” Rebholz said.
The concept went from idea to fruition in just eight weeks with the first of what they hope will be many facilities opening last Thursday in London.
Of course the idea is not exactly a new one to the self storage industry. Three similar ideas already exist in the United States—Remote Garage in San Antonio, Texas; Makespace in New York City, New York; and Boxbee in San Francisco. Like SpaceWays, all three are in the start-up phase with hopes of expanding in the near future.
“Spaceways To Revolutise Locker Rentals In UK.” Malaysian Digest; 04 July 2014.
“The Geek Shall Inherent the Earth…and Apparently the New Self Storage Start-Up.” Self Storage Industry News; 15 May 2014.