After spending more than a year honing its business model in New York City, NY, storage-by-the-bin startup MakeSpace is spreading its wings.

The company said it has begun operations in Chicago, IL, and will launch next month in Washington, DC.

We are now poised to take on and transform an entire industry, one that has never truly changed.
— MakeSpace founder and CEO Sam Rosen

“We’re thrilled to bring our beloved New York City service to Chicago and DC residents who need a storage solution that works for their busy, on-the-go lifestyles,” said Sam Rosen (pictured at top), founder and CEO of MakeSpace.

Rosen said the company will reveal two more expansion cities by the end of June.

Going up against self-storage

In its news release about the expansion, MakeSpace fired a salvo at the self-storage industry:

“With one in 10 American households renting a storage unit, this expansion confirms MakeSpace’s commitment to take on the $24-billion-a-year self-storage industry. MakeSpace also has an opportunity to grow the market, as customers who previously would never have used self-storage are using MakeSpace as an extension of the home, acting as a second or third closet.”

Rosen said: “We are now poised to take on and transform an entire industry, one that has never truly changed.”

Money magnet

Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher is one of the investors in MakeSpace.

The expansion comes on the heels of an $8 million round of funding in May. At the time, Rosen said the company would use the capital to hire drivers, software engineers, customer support staff and a warehouse manager.

The company has received more than $10 million in venture capital since launching in the fall of 2013. The company counts actor Ashton Kutcher and NBA player Carmelo Anthony among its investors.

MakeSpace positions itself as an alternative to traditional self-storage geared toward urban dwellers. A MakeSpace driver drops off empty plastic bins to a customer. The customer packs his or her belongings in the bins and requests a pickup. The items are stored in a warehouse until the customer is ready for them to be retrieved for a $29 fee.

MakeSpace charges $25 a month for the service, which includes the use of four storage bins. The startup also offers its service nationwide through the MakeSpace Air program, through which customers can ship their belongings to MakeSpace for storage.

Alexander Harris