On-demand self-storage startup StowNest provides space for all your requirements
In the past few years, cloud-based storage systems to store digital files have become the rage. But, what does one do with all the excess physical belongings that one can’t dispose of yet? Not everyone can Mary Kondo it!
On-demand self-storage startup StowNest can help you with space for all your storage needs for as long as you need it. The Bengaluru-based startup offers personalised storage services for customers’ belongings, be it home, office, or business needs.
StowNest follows a technology-enabled and process-driven approach to create space, optimise it, and offer cost-effective storage options.
In the beginning
StowNest was founded by Sudhindra Subbarao, Amith Kumar, Srinivasa Murthy, and Ramesh Chincholi in 2018. Three of the co-founders are engineers and were batchmates at Ramaiah Institute of Technology.
Sudhindra, CEO of StowNest, recalls that their awakening to the all-too-common need for space, especially in urban areas, happened during their engineering days, when big groups of students, staying together, would have to manage small spaces creatively.
Describing StowNest as a tech startup offering a consumer-focused storage platform to transform the way people manage their spaces and belongings, he says, “While we have come a long way, we realise there is so much clutter within and outside our homes. When preparing for administrative exams, we realised there is a lot to be done around space / storage as an issue in cities, especially around storage solutions delivered to the doorstep and provided with quality customer service.”
Sudhindra has 15 years of experience in various roles working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Ten years ago, he also founded Wild Wanderers Adventure Sports, a startup which was famously involved in training Prabhas in rock climbing for the Baahubali movie.
Amith, who is the CFO at StowNest, manages the finance and HR functions. A seasoned banker, he has worked in top financial institutions, including State Bank of Hyderabad and SBI, for 10 years.
Srinivasa, Co-founder and COO, manages the logistics and operations. Srinivasa comes with a strong operations background having managed warehouses, workforce, and logistics functions. He is also into real estate, creating warehouse spaces for big players like FedEx, DHL, and Big Basket.
Ramesh is an experienced technology specialist with stints in the financial services industry. An IT professional behind the creation of products at IBM, Komli, and Yodlee, he has also co-founded startup Home Triangle.
Sudhindra adds, “Each one of us has had different stints in creating a sustainable business, be it in logistics, home services, or adventure travel companies. When we reunited to discuss our venture, we knew we could use our experience to solve household customers’ space needs.”
How it works
StowNest has launched a mobile and desktop application to serve its customers and manage warehouse operations. Starting from login to the booking, the entire process is online. Customers can book their space, pay online, and track their monthly invoices on StowNest’s platform.
Once an order is placed, a team of five visits the homes of customers, professionally packs the things to be stored, and brings them to the storage units. The startup also delivers stored items back to customers’ homes.
Charges vary, depending on the order. For the space, for households, the company charges Rs 25 to Rs 100 per item (ranging from small to medium to large in size) per month. Businesses and SMEs are charged Rs 75 per square feet per month.
The startup has about 15,000 square feet of leased warehouse space spread across Bengaluru and caters to close to 200 customers at present. It is adding 20-25 new customers every month, the founders says.
The CEO adds, “Our storage facilities have pest-control measures, fire extinguishers, insurance facilities, and other benefits.” Barring gold, cash, and jewellery, the startup’s solution meets every storage need.
Competitors and funding
Self-storage is a relatively new concept in India, but there are a number of local movers-and-packers. But, Sudhindra points out that they are largely unorganised and there is no benchmark for quality and security. There are a few other self-storage startups like Self Storage India and Your Space Doctor that have established a presence in North and West India, respectively.
Speaking about the market in Bengaluru, Sudhindra says “We see the on-demand storage market to be around $250,000. The market would grow four-fold or more in the next three to five years.”
Almost a year old, StowNest is completely bootstrapped and is planning to run without any external investment for some time.
Plans for the future
Sudhindra shares that the startup’s vision is to be known for its world-class customer service for household storage needs.
“Our goal is to reimagine how people think about and use storage. We would like to drive effective utilisation of space-time resources for ever-growing urban needs with our technology platform,” he says.
He adds that they are planning to start operations in major southern cities like Hyderabad and Chennai soon. Documents storage is an area that the startup is looking to expand into, specifically targeting the filing needs of SMEs and businesses.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)