Full-service storage company Closetbox kicked off the New Year by expanding into 10 new markets – bringing the total number of cities it serves across the United States to 88.

Specifically, the concierge, or valet, storage company now has expanded into:

  • Napa, CA
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Canton, OH
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Jackson, MS
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Lancaster, PA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Durham, NC

Overall in 2017, Denver-based Closetbox saw a 28 percent increase in cities served and now operates 206 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C.. The company plans to continue expanding in 2018.

The expansion news coincides with news of a $7.3 million Series A funding round that the company announced on January 22. The investment, led by Peter Roshko of Boulder Ventures, brings the total raised by Closetbox since inception in 2014 to $19.8 million.

Since Closetbox first raised money from an external source in September 2015, it has served tens of thousands of customers, seen its revenue grow 16 times, and has recorded 90 percent compounded quarterly revenue growth, according to a company press release.

But how?

While other full-service and valet startups remain confined to a handful or markets, Closetbox has expanded rapidly across the country.

That’s because Closetbox follows its own unique model. The company claims to be the only full-service storage company that uses an asset-light, shared economy model by using excess capacity in the existing logistics network to pick up and deliver storage. In other words the company doesn’t have a massive labor force or require its own real estate, but instead relies on existing moving companies to fulfill its customers’ needs.

Closetbox CEO Marcus Mollmann noted that the company operates through a partnership with a number of providers all over the country. Those partners include logistics companies, movers or “anyone with a truck,” he said.

“But all our partners picking up household goods are registered household carriers and licensed professional movers,” Mollman said.

Its network of partners continues to grow, allowing the company to continue its expansion.

Closetbox CEO Marcus Mollman.

How it works

Customers use Closetbox to book storage, and local movers pick up the items from a customer’s home. Closetbox then stores the belongings in a secure, temperature-controlled facility that it leases. It also creates a digital inventory for all the items being stored so they can be returned easily if needed.

“I think they enjoy working with us so every day we get additional requests to do business and help drive new storage customers to our partners,” Mollmann said.

Most other full-service providers own their own trucks and/or warehouses, which can make running their business more costly and expansion more difficult, he said. Closetbox leases about 26 million square feet of storage space.

“We run a more efficient business so we can pass those savings to our customers,” Mollmann said.

“We work with our partners to do pickups and deliveries of storage items, and those partners have excess capacities on their trucks,” Mollmann explained. “So we are able to move customers’ belongings at a lower cost and we pass those savings on to our customers so that we can provide full-service storage at the cost of self-storage.”

Approaching profitability

Closetbox has a number of competitors including startups MakeSpace and Omni, and bigger traditional companies such as PODS and Public Storage.

With 38 employees, Mollmann said the company is not yet profitable but “getting pretty close.” Eventually, it plans to expand internationally. But for now, Closetbox is focused on gaining more customers in the markets it’s already in. Existing locations include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati.

“We see a lot of opportunity to expand in the footprint we’ve already built,” he said. “We have a few large markets.”

Mary Ann Azevedo