Crowdfunded Business of the Year 2014

LOVESPACE

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Start-up name: LOVESPACE
Founder: Brett Akker
Started in: 2012
Based in: London  
Business description: By-the-box storage collected from your door

Lovespace-logoConvinced it can disrupt the £1bn self-storage industry, LOVESPACE certainly made a compelling case for the judges in winning the Crowdfunded Business of the Year for 2014.

Against stiff competition in scaffolding innovator F-Board and Seedrs, which raised £2.5m from its own crowdfunding platform within a week, LOVESPACE prevailed.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Brett Akker, who co-founded and sold car sharing business Streetcar to hugely successful American car rental business Zipcar for $50m, netting him an estimated £11m, LOVESPACE has the potential to exceed previous successes.

While it’s very early in the business’ lifecycle, the signs are good for the pay-by-the-box per month business model. The £1.2m early funding followed by £1.6m via a fundraising on Crowdcube, LOVESPACE is setting its sights high.

Managing director Steve Folwell (pictured), the former Guardian Media Group business development director, came on board in early 2013 and was there to collect the title at the Startups Awards. Together with a board comprising the CEO of Smedvig Capital, self-storage veterans Arnaud Ripert and Lasse Hoydal, and chairman of First Risk Capital, a Norwegian investment firm focused on self-storage and logistics, Akker has assembled a frighteningly good team.

With revenue already rising steeply, and partnerships with the likes of Mothercare and Oxfam, the evidence so far points to LOVESPACE doing exactly what Akker set out to achieve by doing what Amazon did to bookshops and Ocado did to supermarket shopping. We’ll store that thought for later!

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