There has been plenty of speculation surrounding disgruntled investors in Softbank’s vision fund but that has not deterred the company from moving ahead and putting the money where it seems fit. In one such move, Clutter, a tech-enabled, on-demand storage company announced on Thursday that it has closed a $200 million Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Other big names who participated in this funding round are Sequoia, Atomico, GV, Fifth Wall and Four Rivers. The investment brings total Clutter funding to $297 billion.
This latest round of funding is intended to accelerate the company’s expansion into new markets in 2019, including Philadelphia, Portland and Sacramento. It is also planning to double its existing markets in the greater areas of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Orange County and northern New Jersey.
It is worthwhile to note here that the total size of the U.S. mortgage market stands at $38 billion annually, which is bigger than the global music industry. As per the press release, nearly 10 percent of US households in US use self-storage and it is more than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.
Clutter is one among a number of companies that provide storage options for clients who don’t want to part away with their belongings and at the same time don’t have the capacity to keep it where they live.
Speaking about the latest funding round, Clutter co-founder and CEO Ari Mir said, “Before Clutter, the storage customer experience had been largely unchanged since the first self-storage facility opened in the 1960s. To store their stuff, consumers’ only option was to bear the burden of moving their items in and out of storage themselves.”
“If people don’t want to leave the house to pick up Chinese food, why would they want to spend their Saturday renting a truck and lugging their stuff to storage?” Mir added.
Echoing similar sentiments, Justin Wilson, director at SoftBank Investment Advisers said, “We believe that storage is a vast and traditional market with huge potential for disruption, and Clutter’s technology and superior customer proposition will help facilitate future growth in expanding urban communities where space is at a premium.”
Currently, in the U.S. there is nearly one billion square feet of self-storage space in the top 50 cities. But as more and more people are migrating to the cities, it’s becoming all the more difficult for self-storage facilities as they employ very few people and take up large space. This is where Clutter comes in and provides a better alternative for self-storage. It employs more people than 99.5 percent of self-storage companies in the U.S. and has taken the self-storage facility outside the limits of the city.