Items stored with Clutter are delivered to and from your home in teal vans.
Storage startup Clutter announced Tuesday that is has raised another $64 million to expand its on-demand service around the country and globe. Led by London-based venture capital firm Atomico, Clutter’s third round brings its total funding to a cool $100 million. Sequoia Capital—which led the Los Angeles-based company’s first two rounds—also joined this time, as did Google Ventures and Fifth Wall, a real estate focused VC that officially launched earlier this year.
Clutter offers a new solution to an old problem: too much stuff, too little space.
Unlike traditional self-storage units, where you lug your belongs to and from a warehouse, Clutter comes to you. Staff digitally catalogs what you are sending, packs it up and drives it to a Clutter operated facility. When you want your stuff back, you log in, click the items you need and 48-hours later they are at your door.
The attitude is: “Sit back and relax and we are going to do all the work,” says Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Ari Mir. This approach has attracted more than 10,000 clients across Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, New York City, New Jersey, Seattle and, starting this week, Chicago.
All of this convenience does not come cheap. Prices vary by location, amount of stuff and length of commitment. In Manhattan, for $7 a month you can store a single item on a 12 month contract. For $640 you can store a whole apartment month-to-month. Clutter also charges a sizable labor fee for pick up, delivery and packing. Mir says as the cost of doing business gets lower so will prices.
Clutter plans to use its new money to fund expansion into about 50 markets in five years, including every big city in America and several abroad. “The virtue is not just the opportunity in the U.S. Urbanization and those problems exist internationally,” says Hiro Tamura, partner at Atomico. “It’s inevitable that space utilization [becomes] a very high priority.”
If three-year-old Clutter is successful the potential is much more profound than simply saving you a drive (and sore back). By removing the need for storage units to be located in a place convenient for customers, Clutter is able to use warehouses located far outside of major cities. This means they can rent—and eventually buy—industrial real estate at much lower prices than the incumbents. In the long run this should lower the price of storage and even open up precious city land. These places formerly occupied by storage facilities could, in theory, be used for higher purpose.
“We are not just freeing up inside your home of clutter, if we are successful over the next 10, 20, 30 years, we will start to free up space within the city center as well,” says Mir. “Use that space for affordable housing—or for a park or something.”