Molly Seeley, a Minnesota native and entrepreneur, has launched a storage company called Cyber Space to provide new options for storing one’s personal items. With Seeley’s service, customers store their items in a temperature-controlled environment where they can all be seen and tracked online. Seeley’s patented technology allows licensees and customers to accomplish multiple tasks in relation to indexed items such as scheduling pickup or delivery, purging items to a recycle program, donating items to Goodwill or selling items on eBay.
Seeley's business operates with the assistance of Local Motion, a Minneapolis-based moving and storage-pod business owned by her husband, David. When customers opt to store with Cyber Space, they receive a storage pod from Local Motion into which to put their items. The pod is then stored at one of Local Motion's warehouses. Cyber Space provides the online access to that pod and its contents.
Seeley is marketing her new service as a “disruptive technology,” claiming it will revolutionize the $26 billion self-storage industry. A press release issued by Cyber Space states current choices in that industry will soon be displaced by this faster, more efficient and less expensive technology.
The 37-year-old has been awaiting five years for her virtual storage patent to be approved. It was finally issued earlier this year. Seeley said her pricing can sometimes be as much as 80 percent cheaper than the market rate for self-storage, and the company’s first set of space sold out in the first two weeks of operation.
Should local operators of traditional self-storage facilities view Cyber Space as competition? Seeley said yes, and though she feels bad about that, she feels great about saving customers money on top of providing the convenience her technology can provide.
Seeley is not the first entrepreneur to experiment with a virtual storage product. Companies StorageByMail.com and Storage By The Box offer similar services, though they function through the mail rather than a moving company. Storagebymail.com, based in Jersey City, N.J., was co-founded by Daniel Hughes and initially launched in 2005. Storage By The Box, operated out of Plainfield, Ill., by Phil Murphy, was launched in 2010. Both allow for the shipping of storage boxes to a warehouse location where they can be managed through an online portal. Customers can access digital records of box contents and request boxes for delivery at any time.