James Gibson, CEO of U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC, has invested £100,000 in CityStasher, a Web-based startup that connects travelers who need to temporarily store backpacks, luggage and other items with businesses willing to harbor them. Gibson is also serving as a mentor to CityStasher founders Anthony Collias, Matt Majewski and Jacob Wedderburn-Day, who came up with the idea while studying at Oxford University, according to the source.
Though he isn’t involved with the day-to-day aspects of the startup, Gibson is considered a non-executive director of the company. “We can contact him any time, and when we need advice, he’s always there for us,” Majewski told the source.
Since launching last September, CityStasher has amassed more than 100 “StashPoints” in 23 cities across the United Kingdom. More than 25,000 items have been stored at participating businesses, which include convenient stores, hotels and shops that sell newspapers and magazines.
Customers have ranged from students and tourists to academics and business professionals. Those who need to store an item pay £4 for up to three hours and £6 for up to 24 hours. Participating StashPoint businesses receive 50 percent of customer fees, the source reported. Reservations can be made via smartphones and tablets, with £750 of insurance included in the cost.
Collias, Majewski and Wedderburn-Day each invested £200 as startup funding. The entrepreneurs hope to raise £750,000 in additional funds to help fuel expansion. The company has a goal of 300 U.K. StashPoints by the end of next year and is eyeing opportunities throughout Europe. StashPoints are already available in Amsterdam, according to the source.
Future services could allow customers to drop an item at one location and later retrieve it from another destination, the source reported.
Big Yellow Group operates 89 self-storage locations in the United Kingdom under the Big Yellow Self Storage and Armadillo Self Storage brand names, with most concentrated in Greater London. Its total portfolio comprises 5.3 million square feet.