Space has never been at such a premium for people. But even in an era that is seeing more and more people embracing the rental economy, finding a place to store stuff or live in is becoming a challenge.
This propelled Aditya Kale to develop a marketplace to connect individuals who would like to rent out extra spaces with those needing them. He founded AirAttix in 2019.
AirAttix aims to reinvent the way we store stuff in this sharing economy. Based out of Pune, AirAttix functions as a marketplace for people to find others who are willing to rent out extra storage space and vacant parking lots.
“AirAttix provides solution to a common global problem. It is a first-of-its-kind, technology-driven marketplace and a user-friendly portal. AirAttix also provides an opportunity for the host to earn some extra income from their vacant and unused property,” says 34-year-old Aditya.
How this IIT Madras alumnus found a way around speed bumps to ‘Get (my) Parking’ across the world
The need for space
A marine engineer-turned-entrepreneur from Pune, Aditya, after completing his Master’s in supply chain management from Newcastle University, UK, was working in London for a while before returning to India to start his warehousing and supply chain management company, Imperial Logistics.
The company, which constructs cabins in one of its warehouses, started renting them out to anyone who needed the extra space. This public storage facility gained great response within a short span of time.
“Being in the warehousing business, we used to often get enquiries from common people who wanted extra space for storing their goods. Airbnb is one of the inspirations for this business model,” Aditya explains.
This made the business case for AirAttix very clear to him. AirAttix Storage went live in August 2019 as a sister concern of Imperial Logistics.
Currently the platform has people listing their properties from Pune, Mumbai, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. The startup plans to soon extend support to Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.
“We currently have five members in the team, including myself, looking after business development, customer coordination, and marketing. The technology aspect, social media, and conventional marketing efforts are outsourced,” says Aditya.
Secure storage spots
The storage for goods solution offered by AirAttix can be used by small businesses, people renovating their houses, and those who travel often for work, or anyone who needs to declutter their space for goods storage, quips the founder.
On the other hand, people who have an extra car and need a parking slot can take advantage of those on the marketplace who have an extra or free spot.
AirAttix’s offering also enables car owners to avoid parking their vehicles on the road and risk theft and vandalism.
The startup charges the host a five-percent commission on the transaction amount. The host needs to create a user profile on the AirAttix website following which they require to list their vacant storage or parking spot.
Those in need of space can search on the AirAttix website and shortlist listings. They then need to register and create a profile on the platform for verification.
Upon registering, they can get in contact with the host and make a request for the booking. Once accepted, they can make payment to confirm booking.
“We have more than 300 users on the portal currently. We have also tied up with various malls and set up a public storage facility in Pune. These bulk spaces are listed in the featured property section on the portal,” explains Aditya.
According to IBEF, the Indian real estate sector has witnessed high growth in recent times with the rise in demand for office as well as residential spaces. Between 2009 and 2018, the Indian real estate sector attracted institutional investments worth $30 billion and received $2.3 billion in the first half of 2019.
But as owning space becomes more and more expensive, solutions from startups like AirAttix also help people in saturated cities dealing with unbridled growth.
Aditya claims the firm to be the first mover in the space. “We are the pioneers in creating a marketplace for such a kind of service. The main selling point of the goods storage facilities is that we also provide movers and packers service to our customers,” he says.
The bootstrapped startup is in its sixth month of business and claims to be doing business worth Rs 1.5 lakh per month.
According to the founder, the AirAttix portal has seen substantial increase in traffic in 2020 with at least 20 new users signing up every day.
Its target is to have a pan-India presence by the end of 2020.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
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