Storrage Inc., an app-based startup business specializing in valet self-storage services, recently launched in Seattle. The business model is designed to make the process of obtaining self-storage easy for consumers by allowing them to use the app on Apple and Android devices to schedule next-day pickup or delivery of their belongings.
“Our research has shown that most urban homeowners and apartment dwellers would love the ability to find a place to store occasionally used items, but the current model of driving to a storage locker, or filling a pallet of stuff, simply isn’t a convenient, workable solution for about 90 percent of the market,” said Terry Drayton, CEO, who founded the company with other former executives of HomeGrocer.com, a grocery-shopping website built on the Amazon.com platform.
All aspects of the Storrage service are managed through the mobile app. When the company receives a storage request, it delivers 17-gallon, commercial-grade containers customers use to store their items. There is a weight limit of 35 pounds per bin. Customers also have the option of taking photos with their smartphone, so they can remember exactly what they stored and request delivery of only the items they need. All customer data is stored in the cloud, and the bins are stored in a secure, climate-controlled warehouse.
“Our mobile app provides a vastly superior customer experience compared to traditional storage options,” Drayton said. “For example, instead of having to drive out to a self-storage site and dig through boxes in a dusty storage unit to find a pair of snow boots, Storrage customers browse through their items in the app, quickly locate the appropriate container with a picture of the boots, and have it delivered to their door the next day.”
The service is designed for people who want to store seasonal or seldom-used items, including clothes, documents and keepsakes, company officials said in a press release. Customer fees depend on the number of bins stored and how often a customer requests delivery of belongings. The cost to store items is $4 per container per month, but Storrage will drop the storage fee to $2 per container if customers purchase their bins for $19 each. Storrage will also accept larger items, including bicycles, golf clubs, skis and snowboards, for an additional cost if customers store five or more containers. Pickup and delivery service costs $15, plus $2 per container. The average monthly cost per customer is expected to be about $25, company officials said.
Storrage received $1.5 million in Series A funding earlier this year, raised largely from investors in the Pacific Northwest. The company plans to offer Storrage franchises beginning in 2014.
“Storrage customers pay about 85 percent less than the average amount paid by self-storage customers,” Drayton said. “The storage industry has not modernized to keep pace with emerging technologies, like smartphones. Just like Uber is rewriting the rules of the taxi business, we intend to shake things up and deliver a vastly superior customer experience.”