Before leaving to study abroad in Singapore his junior year, Chuck realized he would need storage space for his furniture and other belongings. A traditional storage unit would cost hundreds of dollars— his dad pointed out that rent on the unit would cost more than the worth of its contents. He ended up storing his stuff in spare closets and garages of friends, including that of best friend and future co-founder, Mario. An idea was born.
After taking entrepreneurship classes in Singapore, Chuck founded the company that would become SpareFoot. Along with Mario, he devised a business plan and did some “fundraising” amongst family members. It was originally called Homstie, a peer-to-peer storage website that helped people rent extra space for storage in private residences. It was a low-cost alternative to traditional self-storage that garnered some media attention around LA as the recession struck. Chuck and Mario, aka Chario, started to see a lot of mom-and-pop storage facilities signing up for the site, which indicated there was potential to actually profit from all of this, so they applied to a few seed mentoring programs.
Chario were accepted by Capital Factory, and packed their bags for Austin, Texas. Chario updated the business plan to directly serve the traditional self-storage industry, and raised about $1 million in Series A funding from RSH Ventures, Capital Factory and Kip McClanahan. We took home the Audience Choice Award at Capital Factory Demo Day.
Growing rapidly, SpareFoot raised another $2 million in Series B funding from Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. SpareFoot took over SelfStorage.com, and began powering the site’s rental operation. SelfStorage.com, much like SpareFoot, helps storage facilities acquire tenants on a pay-per-performance model, while simultaneously allowing consumers to comparison shop for storage, just like they do for an airplane or a hotel.
The company raised another $1.5 million in an extension to Series B from Silverton Partners and Capital Factory. After partnering with SelfStorageDeals.com and SelfStorageFinders.com, SpareFoot became the largest advertising network in the self-storage industry. Chario was featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30.
SpareFoot headquarters relocated to a beautiful new space in downtown Austin. Already an incredible success story, SpareFoot shows no sign of slowing down. The company is hiring aggressively, revenue’s growing rapidly, and a new alliance with Penske Truck Rental makes SpareFoot a formidable leader in the self-storage comparison shopping space.