Cubiq, an app-based business specializing in valet-storage services in Boston, is renting units from traditional self-storage operators in the market to store customer goods rather than lease warehouse space. The company, which offers by-the-bin pickup and delivery service, primarily uses 3,000 square feet of unit space rented from The Storage Bunker, but also rents three units from Public Storage Inc. and has access to 10,000 square feet owned by an unidentified moving and storage company in Ashland, Mass., according to the “SpareFoot Storage Beat,” an industry blog.
Cubiq CEO and co-founder Michael Cappelletti believes valet (or concierge) and traditional storage models can thrive by working together. “I need space, and [traditional self-storage operators] want to rent space,” he told the source. “We don’t consider [the valet-storage model] as competitive against traditional storage providers.” Cubiq revenue is driven primarily by its delivery and inventory services, along with a “slight mark-up” in storage costs above what the company pays self-storage providers, he said.
Michael Oniskey, owner of The Storage Bunker, which operates one facility in Charlestown, Mass., and two in Medford, Mass., also believes the two business models can work in tandem. “They’re two different businesses,” he told the source. “Cubiq is more of a service business. We’re a storage-facility company. [Cappelletti] is addressing a different market.”
Clem Teng, vice president of investor relations for self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) Public Storage, told the source he was unaware Cubiq was renting space from one of the REIT’s facilities.
While most valet-storage operators rent or own warehouse space to store customer belongings, using traditional self-storage could become more prevalent as the two business models examine ways to collaborate. For example, Livible Inc., a Seattle-based valet-storage business, recently partnered with self-storage REIT Extra Space Storage Inc. as its national retail partner. The Livible Labels app, which enables customers to print coded labels to help them manage the contents of their stored boxes, displays the nearest Extra Space location. The app’s facility locator includes maps and driving directions. Through its partnership, the REIT will also sell preprinted Livible labels at its locations nationwide.
Cubiq was also founded by technology and marketing entrepreneur Scott Nelson. The company launched in 2014 with backing from private equity. It provides services to the Boston metropolitan market.
- SpareFoot Storage Beat: Valet Startup and Self-Storage Operator Join Forces in Boston