U.K. Self-Storage Start-up LoveSpace Launches Behind Per-Box, Valet Model

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LoveSpace, a U.K.-based startup business specializing in valet self-storage services, launched this month in partnership with property-management company Mainstay Group, which manages more than 35,000 buildings across the United Kingdom. The business plans to target consumers who do not have enough items to fill a small storage unit but want to temporarily store some belongings.

Similar to a portable-storage model, LoveSpace incorporates a concierge aspect to its services. The company will pick up boxes for free and return them (or any individual box) upon request the following day anywhere in the U.K. Customers are charged £4.95 monthly per box or large item to store their goods and a fee of £7.95 for each box or large item that is delivered to them.

All items are currently stored in a climate-controlled, secure warehouse in London, but LoveSpace’s partnership with Mainstay will likely enable the operation to scale storage of items to local markets.

Based in Wimbledon, England, LoveSpace conducted a soft launch last year by targeting students. It will now expand its focus to include renters, people changing residences and small businesses. The company raised £500,000 in seed funding from investors last month behind the name of owner Brett Akker, who previously co-founded a car-for-hire club called Streetcar. That business sold to a rival company in 2010 for £32 million, according to the source.

“'The rationale behind the LoveSpace service is very similar to that of Streetcar—with city living becoming more and more dense, space is at a premium,” Akker said. “The Mainstay partnership is the first of its kind across the U.K. It allows LoveSpace to expand its marketing presence nationwide.”

The company will accept pre-packed boxes and larger items as long as they meet the service’s 23-kilogram weight limit. Customers can also purchase boxes (64,000 cubic centimeters) and packing materials from LoveSpace. Individual larger items cannot be longer than 1.5 meters. Each box or individual item is insured for £100.

“Cities are becoming more dense while properties are becoming smaller,” Akker said. “There are storage companies such as Big Yellow and Safestore, but customers have to take a big unit that they might have only half full. They also have to rent a van and take their goods over. There was nothing really serving what Streetcar served to car rental, nothing in the storage arena.”

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