19. August 2014–
Moving out, moving together, moving to a smaller space? A lot of people face a problem with the amount of stuff they have. Moving boxes full of things that they don’t want to throw away or only need in another season. Skis, for example.
Especially in metropolises, people live in small spaces and often need extra space.
Understanding that problem, Rob Rebholz, David Fuchs, and Martin Twellmeyer launched SpaceWays.
SpaceWays provides customers with different sized boxes (£6 per month/box). The boxes are picked up for free by professional drivers to ensure the safe handling of all items and are then stored in SpaceWays’ own CCTV-monitored storage facility. The warehouses are outside of the city, which makes the rent more affordable. Also, customers don’t have to book a large space, but pay per box.
When customers ask to redeliver their boxes, they are charged £19, irrespective of the amount of items.
After joining Rocket Internet, SpaceWays launched only six weeks after deciding on the idea.
Cofounder Rob Rebholz answered five questions for VentureVillage:
How do you define “startup”?
A startup is a young company that sets out to solve a problem in a new way but for which success is not guaranteed. Startups usually operate in a field of high uncertainty and need to iterate a lot to figure out how to establish themselves and their business models. This requires a very unique mindset, which I think defines startups as well. Our employees, for example, are all driven by the desire to make an impact in a very short amount of time. To do so, they all embrace the pressure that comes with moving at high speeds and with the responsibilities they are given.
When hearing about another Rocket Internet startup the first question that comes to one’s mind is: Who did it copy?
Every pair of shoes is a copy too and the issue that big metropolises are lacking space is not new either. Our way of tackling the problem is providing an on-demand online storage service. We challenge the status quo and aim to disrupt a whole business sector. Building a company is so much more than an idea. It’s about the execution of this idea.
What did you think about Rocket Internet upfront and how did it change? What is the good and the bad?
We always considered Rocket Internet as an amazing platform to build disruptive global companies. From day one we benefited from the expertise the Rocket ecosystem has to offer and really liked the ambition and experience of the people within this network. Without the amazing Rocket team, launching SpaceWays in just 60 days - which is the fastest idea to go-live achievement by a Rocket company - would not have been possible.
Why did you decide to start a storage business?
We felt like the self-storage industry is ripe for disruption. The UK market is dominated by players like Safestore and BigYellow, which have gross margins of over 60%. Those guys are in a comfortable position where they are not really thinking about real innovation. Disruption is usually driven by an outside force, so we decided to enter the space race and rattle the big dogs’ cages. SpaceWays’ on-demand storage concept delivers superior customer value, which got us pretty excited.
Where do you see SpaceWays and yourself in 5 and in 10 years from now?
Our vision is to provide storage services to customers and SMEs around the world. For us, this is the beginning of a journey at the end of which we want to not only have disrupted the self-storage industry but also created space for people who would never have used self-storage, due to its lack of convenience and flexibility. We’ll achieve this by providing a superior offering, better value-for-money, and great customer service.
Thank you for your time and insights.