European Valet-Storage Company SpaceWays Expands Service to Australia

SpaceWays, a valet self-storage startup that kicked off service offerings last year in Chicago, London, Paris and Toronto, has announced plans to expand to Sydney. The company offers valet-style storage services, including pickup, delivery and bin storage, through an online platform. Co-founder Rob Rebholz said Australia is an attractive expansion market because the country has demonstrated steady self-storage growth alongside a rise in Web-based home services and renovations, according to the source.

SpaceWays, a valet self-storage startup that kicked off service offerings last year in Chicago, London, Paris and Toronto, has announced plans to expand to Sydney. The company offers valet-style storage services, including pickup, delivery and bin storage, through an online platform. Co-founder Rob Rebholz said Australia is an attractive expansion market because the country has demonstrated steady self-storage growth alongside a rise in Web-based home services and renovations, according to the source.

A recent report issued by Australian research company IBISWorld forecasted the country’s self-storage market will reach $808.9 million in 2019-20. Among the drivers in the industry’s growth has been users of short-term storage who are in the process of relocating for work or school, the source reported.

Rebholz believes the on-demand nature of valet service can disrupt the traditional self-storage market. The company’s goal is to capture 10 percent to 20 percent market share, according to “Financial Review.”

“We have taken the ‘self’ out of self-storage, where people can store boxes and bulky items without the inconvenience of bringing their stuff to a remote storage location themselves,” Rebholz told “Deal Street Asia.” “Our unique on-demand storage model provides a convenient, flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional self-storage. It’s perfect for today’s time- and cost-conscious consumer.”

The Australian launch will be handled by Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), a joint venture created last year between Qatar-based telecommunications firm Ooredoo and SpaceWays parent company Rocket Internet AG, a Germany-based venture-capital firm specializing in e-commerce and business startups. The APACIG venture includes a €180 million investment from Ooredoo, “Financial Review” reported.

APACIG has already launched a home-cleaning platform called Helpling and an online grocery service, ShopWings, to Australian consumers. It also will bring Printvenue, an online print-services platform launched in Singapore, to Australia. "Fundamentally the market is very attractive; it has a high level of Internet and smartphone penetration and has a very high level of [gross domestic product],” Koen Thijssen, co-chief executive at APACIG, told the source. “Adoption rates also tend to be very good in Australia, so it is a very attractive market for us."

SpaceWays anticipates expanding services to other Australian cities once it has established itself in Sydney, Rebholz said.

SpaceWays first launched its London service in July 2014 before quickly expanding to other international markets. The company employs 30 worldwide. Other companies affiliated with Rocket Internet offer online shopping for domestic cleaning services, financial services, groceries and taxis in more than 100 countries.

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