Now there’s another startup entering the picture, with Trove formally launching in the San Francisco Bay Area after a few months of testing the concept in beta. They are also securing $8 million in a venture financing round led by Greylock Partners to build out their concept.
Co-founded by Uber’s former head of product, Michael Pao, and Jon Perlow, who worked as a Facebook engineer, the duo thinks they have what it takes to build out their niche in what they claim is a $30 billion market for furniture storage.
“Pao and Perlow are the kind of entrepreneurs you back anything they do,” said Greylock’s Simon Rothman about why he invested. “Personal storage is a big and broken space that takes strong marketplace, logistics and tech skills to unlock.”
It’s not just people with small apartments who use storage spaces. They find that when someone is going through a life transition such as a divorce or a cross-country move, they want a hassle-free place to store their belongings.
“There’s a small closet out there for every man, woman and child,” said Pao. “We’re partnering with the operators to create a wonderful consumer experience that’s simple and affordable to the end customer.”
There’s a certain ickiness about storage units that anyone who has ever visited one will understand. They are often cold, dark and creepy facilities, and it’s a process to get your stuff in and out of the building.
That’s why startups like Trove see an opportunity in making items more accessible. You can schedule pickups and deliveries via the app and never have to go to the unit yourself.
And because the consumers never visit the warehouses, Trove can buy real estate in a more affordable area because it doesn’t have to be a centralized location. It’s a win-win for the bottom line and the customers.
But taking on a competitive landscape may have some challenges, so right now Trove is focusing on its native San Francisco Bay Area before moving on to more saturated markets.
“Once you have super easy solutions we believe that’s going to grow the market,” said Perlow.