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.
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.”
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.