SpaceWays, a valet self-storage business that kicked off its service last year in Chicago, London, Paris and Toronto before expanding to Sydney in 2015, is shutting down its operation in the Windy City, according to a report by “ChicagoInno,” a news website dedicated to urban innovation. SpaceWays notified customers via e-mail that it was stopping local service to concentrate on its business in the United Kingdom. “Due to our success in London, we are currently focusing all our efforts on developing the U.K. business. Unfortunately, that means we are going to shut down all other operations for the foreseeable future,” the e-mail said.
What the Chicago closure means to local service in Paris, Toronto and Sydney is unclear. An Inside Self-Storage inquiry to SpaceWays for clarification on its ongoing service wasn’t immediately returned. Each of the company’s service websites, including that for Chicago, remained operational as of May 1.
While the SpaceWays launches in Chicago, Paris and Toronto were operated internally, the Australian launch was given to Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), a joint venture created last year between Qatar-based telecommunications firm Ooredoo and SpaceWays parent company Rocket Internet AG, a Germany-based venture-capital firm specializing in e-commerce and business startups. The APACIG venture included a €180 million investment from Ooredoo, according to a report by “Financial Review.”
SpaceWays’ entry to Chicago was followed by MakeSpace Labs Inc., a valet-storage operator that also offers by-the-bin storage and pickup and delivery services in New York City and Washington, D.C.
SpaceWays first launched its London service in July 2014 before quickly expanding internationally. The company has said it employs 30 worldwide. Other companies affiliated with Rocket Internet offer online shopping for domestic cleaning services, financial services, groceries and taxis in more than 100 countries.