SpaceWays, a valet self-storage startup that kicked off service offerings in London and Paris earlier this year, launched in Chicago on Wednesday. The company offers valet-style storage services, including pickup, delivery and bin storage, through an online platform. The move follows an Oct. 2 initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by parent company Rocket Internet AG, a Germany-based venture-capital firm specializing in e-commerce and business startups. Rocket Internet valued the IPO at $8.4 billion, according to the source.

October 30, 2014

2 Min Read
European Valet-Storage Company SpaceWays Expands Service to Chicago

SpaceWays, a valet self-storage startup that kicked off service offerings in London and Paris earlier this year, launched in Chicago on Wednesday. The company offers valet-style storage services, including pickup, delivery and bin storage, through an online platform. The move follows an Oct. 2 initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by parent company Rocket Internet AG, a Germany-based venture-capital firm specializing in e-commerce and business startups. Rocket Internet valued the IPO at $8.4 billion, according to the source.

Chicago services will cost $5.90 a month per item or container. Customers can schedule pickup and deliveries online. Retrieval orders are $19, according to the source.

“The decision to take SpaceWays into the U.S. is based on a particular demand for the services offered by this company in this market,” Rocket Internet spokesperson Andreas Winiarski told the source. “Our primary focus continues to be on the developing world and satisfying basic needs of consumers in fast-growing markets around the world.”

Rob Rebholz, one of three SpaceWays co-founders hired by Rocket Internet, said the company believes the valet-storage model is applicable to U.S. consumers. “We saw that self-storage is huge in the U.S., and Chicago made a lot of sense … [but] in terms of self-storage supply, it’s actually very limited,” he told the source.

Valet storage providers have generally targeted urban residential customers looking for space to store small amounts of items or seasonal belongings. SpaceWays’ Chicago warehouse can store about 10,000 boxes, and the company is searching for a second location outside of downtown, according to the source.

The company uses barcodes and a proprietary warehouse-management system to keep stored items organized and is preparing to integrate radio-frequency identification as well, Rebholz said.

SpaceWays launched its London service in July and expanded to Paris in September. The company employs 30 worldwide and has three staff members in Chicago for operations and marketing. It is seeking larger office space to accommodate a larger team and call center, according to the source. Rebholz said he will split time between Berlin, Chicago, London and Paris.

Valet-storage startups that have launched in the United States in recent months include Boxbee Simple Urban Storage in San Francisco, Closetbox in Denver, Clutter in Los Angeles, Cubiq in Boston, MakeSpace Labs Inc. in New York City, Remote Garage in San Antonio, and Storrage Inc. in Seattle.

Other companies affiliated with Rocket Internet offer online shopping for domestic cleaning services, financial services, groceries and taxis in more than 100 countries.

Sources:

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