Uber for movers: On-demand storage startup MakeSpace got funding of $55 million in Series-E round; Key reasons behind the MakeSpace success; How to develop an app like MakeSpace

Uber for movers: How to develop an alternative of MakeSpace storage app

In this #stayathome times, many of us feel the need to declutter our physical space, that’s where MakeSpace comes in. MakeSpace works on the same philosophy as Dropbox, just with real-world stuff. MakeSpace is an on-demand storage startup that gives self-storage a high-tech makeover. 

MakeSpace has closed a funding of $55 million in Series-E round, in which, $45 million is in the form of equity funding and $10 million as debt. The funding is led by Iron Mountain, an existing investor and strategic partner in MakeSpace. 

MakeSpace is an NYC-based on-demand storage startup, founded in 2013. On-demand storage startups are just like Uber for movers and storage, that offers users a digitally secured place for storing their valuables, and way much cheaper than the self-storage facility. The MakeSpace app was initially launched in NYC and later in Chicago, LA, and Washington D.C.

Including the recent funding, MakeSpace is currently valued at about $150 million, according to PitchBook. Last year, the MakeSpace app was launched in 20 new markets, bringing the total to 31 in North America. 

How does the MakeSpace work: 

  • Customers can schedule a pickup online. An uploader will come and drop off as many plastic MakeSpace bags/durable bins you need. 
  • If you can pack up the bins within a 20-minute window, then the uploader will wait nearby, or you can schedule a pickup later. Either way, it’s for free.
  • Once your stuff is carted away, it goes straight to the nearby warehouse, where a camera photographs each bin with the top open. 
  • These photos will be uploaded to users’ accounts, so whenever they need to see what they have stored, it’s already there. 
  • The users can then schedule the delivery of their packages anytime they want.

Key reasons behind the MakeSpace success:

Though MakeSpace deals with physical storage management, the company at its core is, a technology startup, and that’s a secret-sauce behind the MakeSpace success. Here is why:

  • MakeSpace has built its custom software to optimize driver routes to make pickups and delivery more efficient. In fact MakeSpace claims a two-hour pick-up window, and the technology has ensured on-time arrivals in over 99% of pickups, according to Sam Rosen, the co-founder of MakeSpace.
  • The company has also built a custom driver-rating and bin-tracking system. The customers can track their boxes in real-time, and when they’ve arrived at the warehouse.
  • MakeSpace has also created a digital signatures facility that keeps the record of whoever is touching each physical bin. 
  • MakeSpace keeps the digital catalog of every single detail associated with the bin, so the customer can easily access that on their MakeSpace account. 

Why should you go for on-demand storage app development?

Moving a huge bundle of stuff to another city is quite a tough task as packing, loading, transporting, and unpacking should be completed by oneself, and sometimes it can cause many problems like breaking and losing precious things. 

To make it easier and feel better, packers and movers services are available these days, they make sure that all things are handled with care and moved safely to the assigned new destinations. Then this trend of selecting professional service providers through the on-demand packers and movers app became popular among the people. 

An on-demand app can get people more personalized service. There are even specialist services available in on-demand storage apps such as, for office shifting, factory or warehouse relocation, residential moving, etc., in that way service can be more efficient. 

Another advantage of developing an on-demand app is that service providers can showcase their expertise in a visual format. It will increase the credibility and build trust among the customers.

How an on-demand storage app works:

» Request a service:

Customers can request a service of a particular service provider (uploader) based on their preferences, reviews/ratings of the service by other users, etc. The app should also show customers that a particular service provider is available at a given point in time, or not. 

Customers can even book a service in advance for a specific time and date, this will also help service providers to plan their job in an effective manner. Once the service providers accept the requests, the customers will be notified with the precise time.

The app can also provide a facility for customers to upload the images/write a brief description of their stuff to be packed. This will help service providers to decide which material will be required, and an admin to quote a precise estimate.  

» Accept/reject a request:

As soon as the customer requests service for a particular service provider, the service providers will be notified, and he/she can accept/reject the request based on their schedule, area of expertise, or preferences. When one service provider accepts the request, the job will become invisible to others, to ensure that many service providers don’t go after the same job.

Once the service provider accepts a job, they can check and ask for more details, and quote a price. An in-app chat will be an easy option for both customer and service provider to have a quick conversation and clear their doubts. 

The service providers can also mark the job on an in-app calendar so the other customers can know on which dates they are free.

» Real-time tracking: 

It is a critical feature of the on-demand storage app that helps to overcome the drawbacks of a self-storage facility. The customer will be notified prior to the pickup time so they can pack their stuff in-advance. 

Once the service provider loads the stuff and leaves to the storage facility, the customer can track it in real-time through the in-app map or GPS integration. 

It will bring a lot of confidence and build trust amongst the customers in the company. improve trust in the app. 

» Easy payment: 

You can offer an in-built app wallet or integrate multiple payment gateways to the customers. You can generate a digital receipt in your app for the payment they made. You can also provide a payment history of successful/pending/failed payments and transaction history of past payments in your app to the customers.

» Rating and feedback: 

Once the service completed, the customers can rate and review the service based on their experience. You can also notify them about review/rate their experience. It will help the service providers to improve their service if needed, the company to fire/hire the service provider and other customers to choose the service.  

» Push-notifications:

You can use push-notification to retain your customers by sending them messages on the latest developments on the app or in the company if any new service provider comes or the old one resigns, and most importantly, give them personalized offers/discounts. 

Features of an on-demand storage app:

User panel:

  • An easy and secure sign-up/registration and log-in using social media account
  • Search facility to select a service provider by specialty or expertise
  • In-app camera to upload photos of the stuff to get an estimate
  • In-app calendar to schedule the time and date of the service
  • In-app map to set a precise pickup point and track their stuff in real-time later
  • Get the notification about the acceptance of the request with the precise time
  • Make a payment and get an invoice receipt in-app or through the mail
  • Oder history and payment history in-app
  • Rate and review the service
  • Push notification
  • In-app chat

Service panel:

  • Sign up and log in via social media
  • Fill the important details such as a photocopy of the license, alternate mobile number, area of expertise, details of their past work done, etc.  
  • Accept/reject the request
  • An in-app calendar to mark the future jobs and to update their availability
  • In-app map to track their location in real-time
  • Receive payments
  • Rate and review customers
  • Order history and their earnings
  • Push notification
  • In-app chat

Admin panel:

  • Secure login
  • Manage customers and service providers
  • Verify the details in the database
  • Verify the condition of all vehicles
  • Manage requests
  • Manage payments
  • Monitor the performance of service providers and manage their earnings accordingly
  • In-app map to track the vehicle in real-time
  • The in-app calendar that will notify the new requests and availability of service providers
  • Push-notification
  • In-app chat

Summing up:

The moving and storage industry is a new need for the growing population in this busy world. You can start the business in this niche by launching an on-demand storage app in a model where you have the experts who can handle the goods carefully or you can hire experts for packing and handling of the goods to ensure the safety of the goods. 

Coruscate is here to help you to define and analyze the target market, identify the problems they are facing with the current facilities, and developing the ideal solution for your end-users that will also compatible with the market-scenarios with important features and some advanced features to stand ahead in the market. 

If you have a similar startup idea and want to develop an app like MakeSpace then feel free to contact us for more details, customized solutions, live demo, and personalized quotes. Moreover the consultation is totally free.

A basic chart for P2P payments app development cost is as follows:

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