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The self-storage sector has been beating all other major commercial property types in earnings and stock performance, according to a study by Investor Management Services Ltd. In the US alone, the self-storage sector has reported USD 38 billion in annual revenue, growing by 3% YoY. The self-storage industry in Canada, on the other hand, is estimated to be USD 3 billion, with an annual growth rate of 7.3%. While traditional self storage companies are competing with prime development sites, Spaceful - a Canadian startup - aims to integrate technology with a complete menu of self-storage services, including transportation.
The company is a full-service storage provider offering on-demand storage and transportation. It picks, stores, and deliver the goods for its customers. Spaceful has successfully integrated technology in the entire value chain from picking up goods from customer location to delivering those goods back. The company claims to provide locked-in pricing as well as free packing and transportation in eco-friendly bins and moving blankets.
All of Spaceful’s services - booking, packing, and moving goods - are available online starting from CAD 69 per month. Once stored, the customer gets photos of his stored goods and can get back the items whenever they want at a push of a button. The company claims to provide eco-friendly boxes for packing, no truck rental fees and view of the goods stored at cheaper prices than traditional storage companies such as Depotium, Public Storage, Entreposage and U-Haul where the customer is charged for truck rental and prices fluctuate based on supply-demand criteria.
The company, previously known as Sharebee, was launched in 2017 as an online platform connecting people with unused spaces with renters looking for storage. With a very similar model, the company was dubbed as Airbnb of self-storage. However, the company changed its business model in second-half of 2019 and rebranded itself as Spaceful. It is unclear at the moment if the company is still using other people’s unused spaces or has partnered with storage providers.
However, in our opinion, this move to provide an end to end solution including packing and transportation should help the company gain customer trust (as against storing your goods in someone else’s parking space and worrying about security). This should allow the company to generate steady revenue, while utilizing technology to cut down unnecessary costs.
In April 2019, Spaceful raised a CAD 400,000 pre-seed investment round led by Toronto-based self-storage company, All Canadian Self-Storage, with participation from Broken Glass Angels, ex-Uber Montreal general manager, JN Guillemette, and a group of independent angel investors. Earlier in August 2016, it had raised pre-seed investment of CAD 100,000.