Rocket-Backed Physical Storage Startup Spaceways Launches in London

By David Knight |

Berlin-based startup factory Rocket Internet has looked to London to launch its latest venture, storage service Spaceways. That’s physical storage, not the digital kind – for £6 (about €7.50) a month, users are given a large heavy-duty box with free pick up to avoid the hassle of actually travelling to the storage site. For a further £19, the box is delivered back to you.

Rocket, the Samwer brothers’ vehicle for incubating startups which has become synonymous with cloning business models, has certainly been keen to launch Spaceways, with the company claiming to have gone from idea to launch in just eight weeks.

And it has certainly been sensible in choosing a city where space is at a premium. The growth in the British capital’s population has seen many buildings and large homes split up into smaller homes, with a subsequent decline in the average living space by two square metres to 96.8 over the last decade, according to a report by financial services firm Liverpool Victoria.

That has led to an increase in the use of off-site storage, and Spaceways is hoping to tap into the market with a product which is more flexible than existing solutions. Users order however many boxes (or which bulky items they want to store) they want online and then pay per month for storage, with a minimum of three months. The return fee is the same no matter how many boxes are being delivered.

In a release, the company suggested that students studying abroad, young professionals struggling and families looking to store old kids’ toys and clothes would be potential usecases.

Spaceways has a team of ten people and is led by David Fuchs, Rob Rebholz and Martin Twellmeyer. Rebholz said: “SpaceWays will revolutionise the way people store items that they don’t need on a daily basis or don’t have room for.”

Fuchs, meanwhile, argued that with a population density of 13,690 per square mile, space has become an extremely valuable commodity: “Given that the UK storage industry has been consistently growing, with over £385m traded last year, we believe there is huge growth potential for SpaceWays and the service we offer. Via our on-demand storage service people can free up valuable space in their homes without the inconvenience of bringing stuff to a remote storage location.”

The service is set to be expanded to other cities in the UK “and other markets” in the near future, but must surely be carefully targeted – space is probably less of a problem in Berlin, say, than Paris.