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MakeSpace, New York’s ‘DropBox for physical stuff’ goes nationwide

Every ecom­merce man­ag­er work­ing in New York will remem­ber Hur­ri­cane Sandy 18 months ago; but some­times, out of hav­oc and destruc­tion, a bril­liant new idea emerges – and New York’s “Drop­Box for phys­i­cal stuff”, Make­Space, cer­tain­ly belongs in this category.

Brain storm 

The idea was hatched just after the storm: two friends, Mark Suster and Sam Rosen, met for a morn­ing cof­fee, gaz­ing out the win­dow at a city that still, in parts, hadn’t yet had the pow­er restored. Rosen told Suster that he’d lost a lot of stuff dur­ing the hur­ri­cane, and was now try­ing to source some stor­age solu­tions but was find­ing the expe­ri­ence terrible.

As the two began think­ing about bet­ter solu­tions for stor­age, Rosen played with the notion of pick­ing up stuff for peo­ple from their apart­ments and tak­ing it to stor­age for them while sav­ing them mon­ey by hav­ing the stor­age facil­i­ty off­site. As the two riffed the idea, they thought (in Suster’s words):

“That’s inter­est­ing. But what would tru­ly be amaz­ing is if you could build ‘Drop­Box for your phys­i­cal stuff’.”

As Suster puts it:

“We both loved the idea and with­in weeks he [Rosen] was moved to LA and worked out of our office on the con­cept as an EIR.”

Make­Space ris­es 

Hav­ing built out the soft­ware, Rosen returned to NY just as a $2.1 mil­lion seed invest­ment was announced. Make­Space was born: a com­pa­ny that offers the same con­ve­nience and organ­i­sa­tion of cloud stor­age ser­vices like Drop­Box and Google Dri­ve, only for the phys­i­cal stuff in your home. Giv­en the fact that con­ven­tion­al stor­age is pricey and labo­ri­ous (cus­tomers usu­al­ly have to take their own stuff to and from the facil­i­ty), most ecom­merce ana­lysts would agree that dis­rup­tion here would be time­ly, to say the least.

And even the most skep­ti­cal ecom­merce ana­lysts would have to con­cede that Make­Space does exact­ly that. For $25 a month, cus­tomers not only get four bins of stor­age, they get on-demand deliv­ery and drop-off, too. And thanks to its new offer­ing, Make­Space Air, the start­up now has a nation­wide ser­vice which allows users to ship their stuff to Make­Space (which pays for the shipping).

In April, Make­Space raised $8 mil­lion in Series A, and Suster (writ­ing in Busi­ness Insid­er) has just announced that Upfront Ven­tures is lead­ing a new $8 mil­lion round.

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