MyPorter, an online-first, on-demand storage startup, has closed $2.2 million in funding from a group of strategic angel investors. The capital is intended to get the startup closer to a larger institutional round at the end of this year and then expansion to new markets in early 2020.
MyPorter currently operates only in the Atlanta market, with a 100,000-square-foot warehouse space located just outside metro Atlanta. It has grown almost 400 percent since launch in 2016, projecting over 10,000 customer jobs this year.
It’s a pretty simple value proposition: the customer schedules moving time with MyPorter through the web app, the startup packs up the belongings, trucks them to the warehouse, and takes photos and enters everything into a digital visual catalog along the way.
Once in the warehouse, customers pay a monthly or annual fee, similar to any self-storage unit. If a customer needs their items back, they can schedule delivery with MyPorter online.
The business was formed in 2015, but co-CEOs John Foshee and Robert Crump took over in 2016. Both have financial backgrounds and saw the potential of disrupting an industry that, though worth over $30 billion, had not changed in decades.
“The comparison that we really like is Carvana, where you can liken the current self storage facility to car dealerships,” Foshee tells Hypepotamus.
“It’s something that no one really likes doing. It’s an industry that hasn’t changed in 70 years, because the need for storage is often inflexible. They didn’t feel like they had to change because they were the only game in town.”
The first few years, the two self-funded the company, taking on not only the business and strategy work, but also the actual storage jobs.
“We did all of the moving, answered all of the customer and sales phone calls, and ironed out the whole process,” says Foshee. “We literally interacted with all of the customers, moved all of the furniture… and put in substantial personal capital.”
They raised their first outside capital in early 2018 from a group of angels, many of whom are CEOs themselves. Investors included Wes Matelich, CEO of cannabis agriculture company Rx Green Technologies and Ken Haines, CEO of The Wrench Group (the umbrella brand over Coolray, Mr. Plumber and BriteBox).
“I saw a unique opportunity with MyPorter to upset an essential services industry that would have a lasting impact locally and potentially nationally as well,” Haines said in a statement. “It’s exciting to be an early investor in a company disrupting a decades-old industry in a ‘make or break’ market like Atlanta.”
After their high-volume growth and in preparation for further expansion, MyPorter has now raised again from many of the same investors.
Foshee says they’ll now focus on making key hires necessary for a bigger operation and “making a really good playbook that we can take to any market.”
Though they have not identified that next market, it will be in the Southeast. They’ll stay in the region for a while, says Foshee, citing a lower barrier to entry, proximity, and less competition.