LOVESPACE closes £1.6m crowdfunding round

Storage company set up by Streetcar co-founder Brett Akker backed by 259 investors

Storage-by-the-box company LOVESPACE has won the backing of 259 investors in a £1.6m funding round on the Crowdcube platform.

The business was started in 2012 by co-founder of Streetcar Brett Akker, who sold the car club company to competitor Zipcar for £32m in 2010.

Akker decided to target the £355m storage market with a second fleet-based business after noticing the parallels between the opportunity he saw for a car club and his latest venture, with urbanisation putting space at a premium in densely populated cities.

The deal follows a seed round of £500,000 supported by Streetcar backers Smedvig Capital, First Risk Capital, and European storage heavyweights Carl August Ameln, Lasse Hoydal and Arnaud Ripert, all of whom serve on the board alongside Smedvig’s CEO John Hewett.

In this latest round, Akker has relinquished 28.49% of the company’s equity, with the largest backer investing £250,000 following a whirlwind fundraising that took just 24 hours for the business secure its target of £600,000.

The funding will enable LOVESPACE to increase warehouse space to over 20,000 square feet, boost the size of its fleet, add drivers, customer service experts and developers to its workforce, while also financing investment in its technology and additional marketing activities.

At present, the business, which was this year named in the Startups 100 index, has stored more than 10,000 boxes for close to 2,000 customers.

Much like most storage companies LOVESPACE targets people moving house or looking to declutter, students, businesses, and new parents and collects boxes or larger items such as bikes from customers’ doors.

Customer numbers are rising by 50 a day and strategic partnerships with Oxfam for a free charity box collection service and Mothercare for deferred delivery of parenting paraphernalia to 200 stores nationwide, have helped to accelerate the growth of the business.

LOVESPACE managing director Steve Folwell led the funding round and expressed delight at the success of the round. He said:

“We have been steadily growing customer numbers and developing our services since launch last November, and this additional funding will allow even further expansion of our customer offering and importantly storage space.

The business, which has the slogan ‘live a bigger life, one box at a time’, is the fourth business to raise more than £1m using Crowdcube’s platform.

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