SpareFoot Packs in a $33M Series D to Improve Storage Booking Service

SpareFoot, the Austin, TX-based online marketplace for booking self-storage units, is receiving $33 million of Series D funding to help improve its product for consumers and storage facilities, both in terms of engineering and marketing, according to CEO Chuck Gordon.

The company is going to refine tools that already exist, such as making sure it’s easy for storage facilities to upload photos or get customers to leave reviews. SpareFoot will also add new features to the service, such as online move-ins that will allow customers to book a unit, complete a lease, and pay first month’s rent without having to do it in person, Gordon says.

“That’s actually quite a big innovation in the space because the paperwork in the store is quite a bit,” he said in a telephone interview.

Features like that, as well as a television advertising campaign that SpareFoot expects to launch in the coming weeks to attract more customers, are a key tool for the small businesses that make up the majority of the storage facility market and SpareFoot’s customer base, Gordon says. SpareFoot currently counts more than 9,400 facilities as customers in a market that has 52,000 total, accounting for $25 billion in annual revenue, Gordon says.

“We believe there is plenty of opportunity left,” he says.

Founded in 2008, SpareFoot moved to Austin in 2009 to take part in Capital Factory’s accelerator, as Xconomy’s Angela Shah reported last year. It has since grown rapidly in its pursuit of Gordon’s goal to make it as easy to book a storage unit as it is to book a hotel room. The company expects to reach 280 employees by the end of this year, up from just over 100 at the start of 2014.

Washington, DC-based Venture capital firm Revolution Growth led the $33 million round, and was joined by existing investor Insight Venture Partners, based in New York, and new investor Düsseldorf, Germany-based Monkfish Equity.

Revolution Partner Scott Hilleboe says there is room for SpareFoot to make more small, mom-and-pop businesses competitive with better marketing and technology services. While SpareFoot is looking to make some product enhancements in the near term, he says the startup could add new products, too. He declined to provide specifics on what those products might be, though he did acknowledge moving rentals are a related service that many SpareFoot customers do use.

“It’s obviously better to find a solution for the consumer where they can find an all-in-one place to fulfill their self storage needs as well as their moving needs,” Hilleboe said in a telephone interview.

Hilleboe and Rony Kahan, cofounder and chairman of job search engine Indeed, are joining SpareFoot’s board of directors.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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