Boxmotions, the storeroom in the cloud

This Catalan startup wants to revolutionise the sector by allowing storage unit users not to have to travel and to have a digital catalogue that lists all of their belongings

We are never sure how it happens but all of us end up accumulating stuff at home. Whether it be furniture, clothes or other objects, it is hard to get rid of things even when they start taking over our living space. That is why storage businesses exist, renting space to store possessions that we no longer have space for at home. A Catalan startup has now taken it a step further. Boxmotions can just about be described as virtual storage. The company comes to the client's house, picks up the items, labels them and produces a digital inventory with images of each one so that you always know what you have in storage with a click of the smartphone. In this way, whenever a specific object is needed, all you need to do is ask the company for it and it will be delivered.

"We have three fundamental pillars that marks us out from conventional storage," Pol Karaso tells VIA Empresa, cofounder of the company of six employees that began operating this year. "The first is that we come to your house; there is no need for you to move. In 24 hours we will come to collect everything," he says. The second pillar, and surely the most attractive, is the online catalogue listing the client's possessions. "We label everything and take photographs, in this way you have it all on your mobile so you can see what you have in storage whenever you want. It is like having a virtual storeroom on your mobile," says Karaso.

Finally, the cofounder of the company mentions the price of the service. "We are at least 20% cheaper," he says. The explanation? "Our pricing structure consists of only paying for what you store." Unlike conventional storage services, with compartmentalised spaces, Boxmotions offers the option of storing boxes (at 3.90 euros/month each), or renting storage spaces of different sizes. "We have storage spaces that are much smaller than what conventional services can provide," he argues. Everything is kept in a warehouse in Sant Andreu de la Barca to which clients have no access. "They don't need to because we will deliver everything to their homes," says Karaso.

A solution for families and companies
The cofounder makes it clear that Boxmotion targets "both individuals and companies." There are a lot companies that need this type of storage, "as they have sales representatives who need samples for clients and they also attend fairs," he says by way of example. "Companies often have a lot of material and nowhere to keep it. They need large spaces over long periods of time, something we value a lot," he adds.

At Boxmotions, they say that the ideal client profile are families between 28 and 45. Both couples and families with children, with flats between 70 and 90 square metres in size and a gross income of at least 40,000 euros. "Over 90 square metres, flats usually have their own storeroom, while in those under 70 families are not frequent users of these services," Karaso reflects.

A complementary service
Apart from offering a direct service to clients, Boxmotions goes that bit further and looks for indirect channels of acquisition. "We want to approach companies that already have a network of users and reach an agreement with them to offer a service that interests them," says Karaso.

Trading platforms (Wallapop?), or short-term flat rental services (Airbnb?), could be the object of these agreements. "In this way their users can store their belongings during the time that they are renting a flat," says Karaso.

Reorienting the idea
Boxmotions began operations this year. However, its origins go further back. "The idea comes from another project," says Karaso in reference to Backmotions, a service allowing travellers to forget about their luggage when they do not need it. "We offered this service during 2015 and the beginning of 2016, but due to a series of circumstances in the market and demand, the competitive environment became complicated and the market was not as large as we first thought," he recalls.

Thus, Boxmotions was born on the back of the existing logistical and operational model, but changed the offer. "Instead of moving suitcases, we thought about moving people's things for them," says Pol Karaso. "This gives us access to a market that not only includes travellers, but all types of people with a much wider range of needs," he adds. Realising the connection between what they were already doing and what they could do has allowed them to take advantage of the logistics and the web platform. Moreover, concludes Karaso, "the concept of freeing yourself from your things from home without having to travel was a proposal with a much higher value."
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