BoxIt, a Kuwait-based startup business specializing in valet-style self-storage, launched this week with service across the Middle East nation. The Kuwait City-based operation offers a by-the-bin pay model and an online platform that allows customers to schedule free item pickup, maintain a photo catalog of belongings, and schedule home delivery of boxes.
Similar to other valet-style storage businesses in the United States and abroad, BoxIt customers can schedule pickup and delivery services through a mobile app or the company website. Items are stored in a secure warehouse, which is off limits to customers. Pricing runs 3 Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per box, per month. Return deliveries are 5 KD per bin and incur a 2.5 KD trip charge, according to the company website.
BoxIt molded its business model with input from Sirdab Lab, a Kuwait-based community entrepreneurship group specializing in collaboration, mentorship and networking. That relationship led to a $74,000 angel investment last year from startup enthusiast Sabah al Bader, according to the source. The investment has funded the company’s initial operation, which includes 12 employees. BoxIt is also a finalist in a startup-business challenge, which could bring another €20,000 in funding plus additional perks if it wins, the source reported.
BoxIt began taking reservations in February and pre-booked about 60 storage bins at launch, according to co-founder Premlal PK, who requested the source withhold his surname. “Our plan is to have month-on-month addition of just under 200 customers per month in Kuwait,” he said.
Premlal believes the concept of self-storage is on the rise in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf region and will continue to grow behind the trend of people downsizing from family homes to apartments. “The culture of storage is happening in Kuwait,” he told the source. “As more and more Kuwaitis move to apartments, there are more items to store.”
An influx of international, white-collar workers in Kuwait and other members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) may also be reason for optimism. “These expats can’t own property in the GCC, and they live in shared accommodation,” Premlal said. “They need storage.”
As the business gets its footing, BoxIt is seeking up to $1.2 million in additional investment to fund backend automation, the launch of a business-to-business service, and expansion to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the source reported.