Clutter is disrupting its own name.
The two-year-old startup takes the stuff you don’t use out of your home and makes sure you don’t just put it in a disorganized storage unit. Clutter, based in Los Angeles, employs movers and software engineers who work together to build a sophisticated system of packing and storing, where each item is photographed and catalogued on a platform.
Clutter announced Tuesday a $64 million Series C round, led by UK-based Atomico and with GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Fifth Wall as first-time investors as well. Sequoia Capital, which led the Series A and Series B round, participated again.
The new financing will be put toward hiring more employees, growing in more markets, and improving the technology, according to Ari Mir, cofounder and chief marketing officer of Clutter.
“It takes a lot of software to find a Beanie Baby,” Mir said.
Like many startups, the Clutter cofounder went after a big industry with a modern-day technology solution. People store their items, but oftentimes they leave them in a big room with little idea of what’s there and why. Clutter added an online inventory component.
But that wasn’t the only change they brought upon the industry, worth $30 billion in the U.S. alone, according to IBISWorld. Clutter CEO Brian Thomas’s mom’s poor customer service experience with her storage provider had inspired Thomas and his cofounders to start Clutter. His mom’s storage provider had unexpectedly raised her monthly raises twice in one year despite her on-time payments and loyalty.
Clutter sought to provide transparency and efficiency. The company tries to save money by moving storage out of cities and into cheaper areas to rent land.
“Were not only taking clutter out of your home but hopefully out of Manhattan,” Thomas said. “To become an on-demand storage company, it means we dont have to store your mom’s stuff in Manhattan. We can store it in New Jersey, where all the bicycles are together. We pass the savings to your mom.”
Of course, storage isn’t free. Customers pay a monthly fee depending on the amount, anywhere between $7 and $8,000, Mir estimated. They also pay a flat fee of $35 per worker for transporting items back to them.
Clutter operates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, San Diego, Seattle, and Chicago, with dozens of warehouses and hundreds of moving vehicles. So far, Clutter has stored items for tens of thousands of customers.
Like WeWork and Airbnb, Clutter offers an on-demand service.
Fifth Wall, one of the new investors, likened Clutter to WeWork and Airbnb, because rather than office space and homes, Clutter offers storage as an on-demand service.
“These asset-light tech-enabled real estate companies are encroaching on the largest industry in the U.S. by a wide margin,” reads a blog post from the Fifth Wall. “They are hyper-scalable, partly because they are so capital efficient you dont need to purchase and finance hard real estate assets.”
Clutter’s business is making money, for each transaction and in every city they operate in. But overall, they are not profitable yet due to capital investments in important needs like employees.
Clutter employs more than 200 people. The company does not rely on 1099 workers, or contractors, like Uber or other on-demand startups. Instead, all people from movers to engineers are W2 employees, with health insurance and other benefits.
“Were a people company. We invest heavily in them,” Mir said. “The biggest mistake I can make is prioritize an engineer over a mover.”
Next up for Clutter is more growth in its current markets and opening in more areas. Mir said they are focused on major cities in the United States, at least 50 in the next five years, and they are looking overseas as well.
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