Can You Spare A Foot?
Chuck Gordon, then an art student at UCLA, balked at the thousands of dollars he would have to pay to store his belongings while spending a semester in Singapore two years ago. He ended up stowing his stuff in friends’ homes and garages. Gordon thought plenty of people with extra space would rent it out if they could easily connect with renters.
That was the original plan behind the Web site he launched with his college roommate Mario Feghali in December 2008, now called SpareFoot. When they found that storage companies were listing their vacant units alongside individuals with extra closet space, they refocused the site on driving customers directly to professional storage firms. That was around the same time SpareFoot moved from Los Angeles to Austin to take part in the Capital Factory startup incubator, a 10-week mentoring program that yielded $20,000 in seed funding, as much in in-kind business services, and connections to investors. SpareFoot raised the first part of a Series A round expected to total about $1 million in September.
Gordon, 22, says revenue at the four-person company has doubled each month since September and now has more than 100,000 listings from more than 1,100 storage companies nationwide. The site works on an auction system in which companies bid for favorable placement. When customers book a storage unit, SpareFoot takes a cut of half the first month’s rent. Individuals can still list their storage space, but by focusing on companies, "we’re able to get thousands of thousands of listings in a matter of a couple months," Gordon says.
[Via - BusinessWeek.Com]
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