On-demand storage is hotter than ever as more people seek convenience in storing their belongings.
A flurry of startups have popped up in recent years to pick up people’s things and store them elsewhere and then bring them back to them when needed. Now, one of those companies, Clutter, is reported to be raising somewhere between $200 million and $250 million in a round led by SoftBank.
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Los Angeles-based Clutter has been among one of the biggest funding recipients in the space even before this rumored round. Founded in 2013, it has raised a known total of $96.3 million. Its last announced raise was a June 2017 $64 million Series valuing the company at $176 million. Backers include UK-based Atomico, Sequoia Capital, and GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), among others.
As our own Joanna Glasner wrote in 2017, Clutter “pitches itself as a tech-enabled storage company that lets people store extra stuff without having to leave the house. Clutter offers optional packing, pickup, and digital cataloging of all items. Customers can also pay to have their stuff returned at any time.”
It’s one of a number of companies in the increasingly crowded space of valet self-storage. New York-based MakeSpace is another, and it’s raised $57.6 million. San Francisco-based Trove has brought in $8 million.
I reached out to Clutter for comment on this latest funding round, and haven’t heard back. We’ll update the story if I do. But all this is not surprising to me. Before I joined Crunchbase News full-time, I used to cover the self-storage industry on a freelance basis for SpareFoot, a marketplace for self-storage operators that ran its own news arm. Self-storage has been one of the bright spots in the commercial real estate sector for a number of years now.
Plus, Americans’ ever-increasing appetite for convenience has fueled demand for services such as the type that Clutter offers. Many of these companies make money by renting or buying warehouse space to store people’s belongings in areas that are not super close to a city core. Thus, they spend less on overhead and are able to store things for people more cheaply than if they operated facilities in expensive real estate markets like San Francisco. Plus, people like not having to schlep back and forth to facilities to get their stuff. I expect this won’t be the last mega round in the space.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias