'AirBnB for luggage' bags £850,000 seed funding, eyes European expansion

Startup aims to build a presence in ten countries outside Britain

Luggage storage startup, CityStasher, has secured $1.1m (£850,000) in seed funding by investors led by Venture Friends and backed by HOWZAT Partners, Charlotte Street Capital, and angel investors.

The angels include Big Yellow Storage CEO James Gibson, making this his second personal investment in the fast growth start-up following a £100k contribution to their pre-seed round in 2016.

Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO of CityStasher, stated: “We’re delighted to have brought together such an illustrious team of backers to support CityStasher’s next phase of growth. Venture Friends, HOWZAT Partners, Charlotte Street Capital and our angels, including our pre-seed funder James Gibson, bring with them a wealth of expertise from across the leisure, hotel and storage spheres which will prove hugely valuable as we look to further our European expansion.”

George Dimoupolous, Partner and Co-Founder at VentureFriends, will be joining the CityStasher board.

Launched in 2016, the startup provides a network of local shops, hotels and venues where travellers and holiday makers can securely leave their bags for a few hours or days at low cost. This funding-round follows on from a strong 2017 for the company, which saw them successfully stash 50,000 bags and increase the number of StashPoints in their network to 200, with locations across the UK, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.

The company will use the investment to accelerate their European expansion, with their sights set on having a significant presence across ten European countries outside of the UK by the end of 2018, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. CityStasher, which works with local businesses, hotels and retailers to offer the service, is aiming to become the brand of choice for left luggage across the UK and Europe.

The team behind the concept will also use the investment to trial additional services, including luggage delivery within and between cities, to further ease the burden on travellers and tourists.

Wedderburn-Day adds: “We want to provide a safe, convenient and affordable option for every single laden-down traveller. We’ve already safely stashed 50,000 bags and we predict that 2018 will see this number increase dramatically as we rapidly expand our European presence and start to map out our global ambitions.

“We’re also excited to be expanding our network of venues, helping many more businesses get involved with the sharing economy. For several years now, bricks and mortar venues have been hurt by digital disruptors. The CityStasher model brings convenience and value to customers whilst also empowering retailers and helping them diversify their revenue.”

George Dimoupolous of Venture Friends, said: “We are happy to help this amazing team build a global brand for luggage storage. CityStasher has a strong presence in the UK and the current investment will help the company launch in new countries while accelerating growth in existing ones.”

David Soskin from HOWZAT Partners, commented: “Where to store luggage while on the move is a persistent problem faced by travellers across the globe. CityStasher provides a very simple and scalable solution. HOWZAT is excited to support the team in their efforts as they expand across Europe.”

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