The shortage of space for storage in urban homes has been the grim reality of many cities in Europe. The development of urban self-storage, inner-city, close-meshed and decentralised micro-logistics hubs is a fast-growing global market trend, which is receiving a massive boost from the Coronavirus pandemic and ever leaner logistics solutions.
Europe and the UK lag behind the US and China in this area, where considerably more urban self-storage space and more efficient, customer-centric logistics solutions are available for the last mile.
Catering to this need is Storebox, the digitised self-storage solution in Europe. The Vienna-based logistics and warehousing startup has raised €52 million in their series B investment round to expand across Europe and UK.
One of the important players in this fresh funding is UK-based Activum SG, which focuses on property and real estate in the UK. The other important players include Attila Balogh, Kineo Finance, n3K Holding, Senger-Weiss, Wicklow Capital and Wille Finance. Existing investors Romulus (Hansi Hansmann) and APIC Investments also participated in the round.
The “storage next door” is already present in 120 locations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. The company’s founders Johannes Braith (CEO), Ferdinand Dietrich (CCO) and Christoph Sandraschitz (CTO) will embark on a broad internationalisation into European markets.
The company is looking at ground-level business premises and unused spaces in secondary locations that will be converted into urban multifunctional warehouses that can be rented by both business and domestic customers of the platform.
Betting big on franchise model
The franchise concept enables third parties to benefit from these megatrends with a proven and transparent business model through building up their own business. The company’s franchise model will contribute to the company’s further growth – a strategy that has convinced a wide range of international investors to join the Series B financing round announced today.
Johannes Braith (CEO) commented: “With this investment, we aim to open thousands of locations in Europe over the next few years and to become the market leader in micro-logistics hubs to provide, among other things, the necessary infrastructure for Q Commerce, i.e., the delivery of online orders within minutes. Storebox already has one of the fastest-growing franchise systems in Europe and, with its completely digitised access solution, enables new logistics and warehouse concepts.”
Further expansion will initially be achieved by increasing the density of the platform’s network in the German-speaking region, primarily in German cities with a population of 30,000 or more. Market entry to several other European countries is also being prepared.
Enhancing Q Commerce
“Due to the booming online trade, several industries are recording enormous growth figures in the home delivery sector. Last-mile logistics will require new forms and structures to meet the growing market trends. Storebox, with its decentralised and digitised location network, will play a key role in the development of the important future market of urban logistics,” said Johannes Braith.
Currently, there are over 120 locations with the Hamster logo, but the growth potential for Storebox in Europe is enormous. While there is around one square meter of rentable warehouse space available per inhabitant in the US, in Europe, this figure is around one-hundredth of that. New e-commerce offerings, courier deliveries within a few minutes, rising real estate prices and shrinking living spaces in urban areas boost the demand for Storebox’s services.