SpaceWays is an on-demand storage service founded by three friends, Rob Rebholz, Martin Twellmeyer and David Fuchs, offering city-dwellers flexible and affordable storage without even leaving their apartment. The company was launched in July 2014 in London and is already live in four countries, with more in the pipeline. We spoke to Rob (pictured) about the company’s journey.
Where did SpaceWays come from?
The three of us met at college and have been firm friends ever since. Though we all took different career paths that led us to far-flung corners of the world, the desire to build a business that filled a real gap in the market brought us all back together in one place. Despite having lived on opposite sides of the globe, the gap we spotted was something we’d all experienced.
Between the three of us we’ve lived in dozens of cities, and the same problem always appears: lack of space. Space in metropolises comes at a premium, as anyone who lives in a big city will tell you, with tiny apartments that can barely fit your bed and a hotplate being the norm. We’ve all had to use self-storage at various points, and always found it an inconvenient and expensive solution to this space dilemma. Renting a van, packing flimsy cardboard boxes with your stuff, driving it to a storage facility where you pay for twice the amount of space you need. Self-storage is neither city-friendly nor cost-effective.
This inspired us to create a more flexible, relevant solution for urbanites. We wanted to make storage accessible to everyone and transform the way people use their space, both at home and in their cramped offices.
And the solution we created is simple: our on-demand service fits around our customers, and we do all the hard work for them. We drop off and pick up boxes at a time to suit the customer, and redeliver their things right to their front door whenever they need them back.
What kind of customers do you have?
Our customer base is really varied – from families who can’t bear to part with their kids’ toys, to businesses storing marketing materials, to people renting out their flat and needing it clutter-free. Basically, anyone who could benefit from more space in their life.
How did you go about building a successful company?
When taking SpaceWays from idea to roll-out, lean and well thought-out implementation was key. Being data-driven, and actually making relevant changes based on our data, was (and still is) one of our most important success factors. It’s far too easy to focus on what you think your business should be, rather than what the customers need it to be. Collecting and analysing customer feedback, making meaningful changes, and then collecting more data is a process we never stop repeating.
Equally as important was building a great team of innovative, motivated people who aren’t afraid of a challenge. We’ve taken on team members from around the globe to create a diverse and goal-driven team – exactly what an international start-up needs to thrive.
Though it was serious hard work – and still is, as any business owner will know – we knew we were building something that solved a real consumer need in big cities worldwide, and we enjoy every step of the journey.
And in the future?
Now we’ve entered 2015, we’re looking forward to bringing the SpaceWays service to more cities around the world, and continuing the space revolution we started!
Follow them at @Space_Ways.