Tech takes aim at self storage

|By:, SA News Editor

via Peter Grant at the WSJ

“Imagine Amazon logistics meets Dropbox software,” says a co-founder of Clutter, one of a handful of startups using the latest technology to offer a better way for folks to store things.

As opposed to traditional self-storage - which offer up garages or the like for customers to fill as they please - these new players pick up and deliver, photograph what is stored, allow customers to view belongings online, and with a click order some or all to be returned.

Executives at Public Storage (NYSE:PSA), CubeSmart (NYSE:CUBE), and Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR) aren't worried, saying the costs of transport and handling will be too high to allow the new entrants to compete. “It sounds like a great product on paper,” says a Public Storage executive, who may or may not be looking for a new job in 10 years.

The founder of MakeSpace - now with 300 employees in four cities, and having just raised another $30M - isn't surprised. "[Public Storage is] a real estate business ... What do they know about logistics?"

Others maybe in line for disruption: Life Storage (NYSE:LSI), National Storage (NYSE:NSA), Global Self Storage (NASDAQ:SELF).

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