Vaultd, a new startup, is attempting to deliver a valet type form of self storage to college students who need some extra space. The novel self storage concept has already attracted the attention of Start Garden, a $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, that will be investing $5000 in the startup initially.
So, how does Vaultd work? The service allows students to store items in either a secure container in the company’s warehouse or with other students on campus in waterproof plastic boxes. These boxes are provided free of charge by the company. The services offered by Vaultd sets it apart from many of the other self storage companies in the industry in that it handles the entire storage process for the client – from start to finish.
Brett Mechan, the co-founder and CEO of Vaultd told grbj.com, “We drop off heavy duty, durable boxes to students for free, and then they can fill up the boxes with whatever they want, taking as much time as they want to fill them up.”
“Once they do, they just contact us via our website, and we will come pick them up for them and take them to our secure warehouse. If they ever need a box again in the future, they can schedule a drop off, and we can drop off whatever box they need. They never have to leave their house or their apartment.” Right now this service is only available for University or Michigan, but plans are to expand to other universities if this peer-to-peer storage model works there.
Vaultd’s unique service does not break the bank for college students either. Services start at only $10 per box with the option to rent in 8- or 12-month periods. “Students on campus who live in a house tend to have storage space in their basement, so we are trying another model where students can store other students’ stuff if they have room,” Mecham said. “That way, these students can make money, plus also store their stuff locally on campus.”
The idea of Vaultd was born after Mecham and his partner Mikey Shen took an entrepreneurship course and found out, through research, that there was significant potential to offer peer-to-peer storage for students. The company will use the seed money to acquire more storage bins and a larger server in order to start the development of a mobile application to make it even more accessible to students.
Start Garden originally selected the startup based on public endorsement and an internal decision by its team. Vaultd will join a likes of Clutter, and similar companies that are attempting to make the self storage process easier.