Trove Technologies Inc., a startup business specializing in valet self-storage, has launched service in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area behind an $8 million Series A round of financing led by venture-capital firm Greylock Partners. Trove uses an online platform that allows customers to schedule item pickup, maintain a visual catalog of stored items, and schedule delivery of items to their home.
“When we talked to current and former storage customers, they repeated the same thing over and over again when asked about how they chose their storage provider—proximity,” Michael Pao, co-founder and CEO of Trove, wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. “However, choosing to store in densely populated areas means higher prices for storage and lost opportunities for communities that are already starved for prime real estate.”
Unlike the majority of valet-style storage operators, which offer by-the-bin storage, Trove uses a square-footage pricing model. The company charges $2.50 per square foot per month, with minimum requirements of 40 square feet and a three-month commitment, according to the company website. The fees include item pickup and expert packing. The company uses professional movers to pick up and deliver items.
Outside of San Francisco, the Trove service area stretches as far north as Concord and Walnut Creek, and as far south as San Jose. It stores items in commercial warehouses “outside of urban centers,” according to Pao. Return deliveries require 72-hour notice and cost $65 per mover per hour. Customers aren’t allowed to visit storage locations in person but can use the company’s dashboard to manage their belongings and schedule home delivery.
“Mass adoption of e-commerce over the past 20 years has shifted our expectations to where anything is available for overnight delivery with a click of a button,” Pao wrote. “However, to store items from your home, you still have to call around, reserve a moving truck, book a storage unit, buy packing materials, and make the trip (or trips) to your storage unit. Trove is changing that.”
The company’s founders are experienced in shared-economy ventures and are well-connected in Silicon Valley. Pao was formerly head of product for Uber and was responsible for the ride-sharing platform’s expansion to China and India, according to a press release. Co-founder Jon Perlow was previously an engineer at Facebook and Google. He founded Beluga, which was purchased by Facebook in 2011 and became the foundation for Facebook Messenger, the release stated.
In addition to leading Trove’s capitalization, Greylock will place partner Simon Rothman on the valet operator’s board of directors. Rothman has previously invested in EatWith, Lyft and Sprig, and was an early adviser to Tesla, according to the release. While working at eBay, he launched eBay Motors, an automotive marketplace that became a $14 billion business globally.
Pao previously served as an “entrepreneur in residence” at Greylock, which led to the creation of Trove, according to a blog post written by Rothman.
Other valet-storage operators serving the Bay Area include Brute, Clutter, Closetbox and Omni.
- Business Insider: An Early Uber Employee is Now Launching an 'Uber For Storage' to Take the Stress Out of Storing Your Stuff
- Greylock Partners: Website
- Trove: Website
- Trove News: Introducing Trove: Storage Made Simple