Homegrown storage startup Spaceship soft-launched in Singapore just three weeks ago, so quietly that almost nobody noticed.
“There’s a huge proliferation of these ideas over the in the US with Boxbee, Makespace — a lot of startups coming up with the same idea. It’s coming up a lot in urban cities with a lack of space around the world,” Rohit Mulani, Head of Sales & Marketing, Spaceship told e27.
Boxful in Hong Kong is doing something similar, but closer to home the immediate competitor is one-year-old Vault Dragon, a JFDI graduate that has secured just over US$90,000 in funding to date.
Spaceship has built out a platform that allows users to easily manage and customise their inventory from a traditional computer browser. Pictures and names can be added to boxes, complete with lists of everything that’s inside — right down to the item categories and brand.
“We’re also serving small businesses… sort of like a third-party logistics provider, but we do it at a much lower cost,” Mulani said.
Not all storage startups are taking the enterprise route, but it presents an opportunity to stand out from the competition. Vault Dragon also helps small businesses store their inventory and documents in their industrial grade plastic security boxes.
In case you were wondering, Spaceship’s standard boxes will store 88,888 chocolate M&Ms, 20 pairs of shoes, or 100 books at a rate of S$12 (US$10) per month. Drop and collection is free, returns are S$20 (US$16).
Larger wardrobe boxes — capable of storing ‘1 nagging wife’ (again, fyi) — cost S$18 (US$14). Any miscellaneous items up to 25kg that can be carried by one person also come in at a flat rate of S$12. For S$6, you can store all your files in what are called ‘banker boxes’.
“Vault Dragon has [regular-sized] boxes, and that’s all they have. They don’t take odd-sized items, miscellaneous items, bulky items — we take all of these,” Mulani said.
Spaceship is currently storing cosmetics products for Eugene Perma, sending out samples to customers on request. Prices are worked out on a per-case basis for business clients.
“We’re also working with a couple of restaurants, where we store their inventory and send it out to them weekly,” he added.
The startup’s founder Yeo Zhi Wei was previously an Associate at SingTel Innov8 Ventures and Venture Consulting. Going back further to 2009, Yeo was the Founder of Pexers, a ‘venture-funded startup in the payments space that reduces the cost of cross-border money transfers by 70 per cent through a P2P network’.
Ardent Capital backed Spaceship with an undisclosed seed investment in November 2014. The service went live on January 21. In the three weeks since launch, it has secured 35 private customers and 3 corporate clients.
At the time of writing, there are about 20 self-storage facilities in Singapore, and over 1.5 million square feet of leasable space. But many are running at close to 80 per cent capacity.
“It’s a huge market, and the market’s been growing at about 28 per cent per year for the past two or three years. Condos are getting smaller… but people need space to put all their stuff, they can’t just throw it away,” Mulani said.
Spaceship expects its current funding to provide a nine-month runway, but is already looking at a ‘much larger Series A’ if all goes well. It is targeting 5,000 customers within the first six months.
Disclaimer: Ardent Capital, which is an investor in Spaceship, is also an investor in e27‘s parent company Optimatic Pte Ltd.
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