When a birthday rolls around, people dream of the gifts they might receive. Some of those dreams are fairly simple – a new technology gadget, something for the man-cave, or something new to wear. Bigger dreams might include a new car or a trip to a tropical island. What would it be like, though, to receive $10 million dollars? That’s what Chuck Gordon, co-founder of SpareFoot recently received for his birthday.
Gordon turned 27 on Monday. And, on Monday, SpareFoot (the company that he co-founded) announced they have received $10 million in venture capital from Insight Venture Partners of New York City. Sweet little birthday present if you ask me.
Gordon said that SpareFoot will use the investment monies on engineering and product development. They currently employ 120 people at their headquarters in downtown Austin. By the end of this year, they hope to have increased that number to 160 employees.
SpareFoot has an interesting beginning. In 2008, Chuck Gordon signed up for a study abroad program in Singapore. Before he left, he needed to find a place to store his stuff. His father refused to pay the money for a self storage unit. (His father felt that cost of the unit was far more than the value of Chuck’s possessions.) So, Chuck stored some of his stuff in a friend’s attic and some in his girlfriend’s garage.
When he got home, he discussed the situation with his friend Mario Feghali. They decided that the self storage market could use a shot in the arm through technology. Their idea evolved and changed over time.
Both Gordon and Feghali had been booking hotels online for 10 years. They got the inspiration that they could use that same principal of online booking for self storage. They settled on the idea of creating a business where people could go online and rent storage units. Thus, SpareFoot was born. Today, SpareFoot operates the largest online marketplace for renting self storage units in the United States.
Richard Wells is the managing director of Insight Venture Partners. He is also a member of the SpareFoot’s board of directors. He has been a guiding connection between SpareFoot and Insight Venture Partners.
Founded in 1995, Insight Venture Partners is a leading global private equity and venture capital firm. They have invested in more than 190 growth-stage companies. In addition to providing funding to these companies, they provide them with market insights and hands-on resources to help them scale their business. The help that Insight gives these companies allows the companies to continue growing without hitting major snags that might severely hinder – or even kill – their expansion. Their choice of supporting SpareFoot has been a very wise decision.
“Austin’s SpareFoot, ‘Hotels.com of Self-Storage,’ Gets $10 M to Grow.” Xconomy; 25 February 2014.
“SpareFoot Raises $10 Million More in Funding.” Insight Venture Partners; 24 February 2014.