Valet Self-Storage Business Remote Garage to Stop Operation by Years End

Valet self-storage operator Remote Garage Inc., which launched its pickup and delivery service last year in San Antonio, will stop operation by the end of December. Co-founder Jaakko Piipponen told the source the local market demands more than by-the-bin storage, and the business couldn’t accommodate the storage of large or bulky items without significantly raising prices.

Valet self-storage operator Remote Garage Inc., which launched its pickup and delivery service last year in San Antonio, will stop operation by the end of December. Co-founder Jaakko Piipponen told the source the local market demands more than by-the-bin storage, and the business couldn’t accommodate the storage of large or bulky items without significantly raising prices.

Although the business garnered a base of a few-dozen customers in the last year, Piipponen determined the business model was unsustainable. “Now, in hindsight, [per box] is the wrong model,” he told the source. “I was maybe attracted to the simplicity of it.”

Remote Garage received a $25,000 investment in December 2013 from the Geekdom Fund, after initially being turned down. The fund was created to financially support members of Geekdom, a co-working concept designed to bring together developers, entrepreneurs and technologists in a collaborative, supportive environment.

The company partnered with Advanced Services Inc. for local warehousing, but frequently received requests to store items like desks and lamps that wouldn’t fit inside storage bins. “You can't stack these kinds of items," Piipponen said. “We tried to accommodate [large or bulky items] if it only took one person to carry, but then it becomes a whole different business at that time."

The need to pay for additional warehouse space and drivers to accommodate pickup and storage of large items would have required rate increases incompatible with the setup of the business, Piipponen said. “There was just not enough margins to go around anymore," he told the source.

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