CityStasher, the peer-to-peer network for left-luggage, has today announced a $1.1 million seed funding round to help it increase its presence around Europe.
The funding round will be led by Venture Friends and backed by HOWZAT Partners, Charlotte Street Capital, and angel investors including Big Yellow Storage CEO James Gibson, who has already invested £100k in the start-up.
George Dimoupolous, partner and co-founder of VentureFriends will be joining the CityStasher board.
Jacob Wedderburn-Day, chief executive of CityStasher, said: “We’re delighted to have brought together such an illustrious team of backers to support CityStasher’s next phase of growth.
“Venture Friends, HOWZAT Partners, Charlotte Street Capital and our angels, including our pre-seed funder James Gibson, bring with them a wealth of expertise from across the leisure, hotel and storage spheres which will prove hugely valuable as we look to further our European expansion.”
CityStasher, which launched in 2016, provides a network of local shops, hotels and venues where travellers and holiday makers can leave their bags securely and pay for storage for as little as three hours.
In 2017 the company ‘stashed’ 50,000 bags and increased the number of StashPoints at local businesses, hotels and retailers in their network to 200, with locations across the UK, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.
The company will use the investment to accelerate its European expansion, with sights set on a “significant presence” across ten European countries outside of the UK by the end of 2018, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The cash will also be used to trial new services like luggage delivery within and between cities.
Wedderburn-Day added: “We want to provide a safe, convenient and affordable option for every single laden-down traveller. We’ve already safely stashed 50,000 bags and we predict that 2018 will see this number increase dramatically as we rapidly expand our European presence and start to map out our global ambitions.
“We’re also excited to be expanding our network of venues, helping many more businesses get involved with the sharing economy. For several years now, bricks and mortar venues have been hurt by digital disruptors. The CityStasher model brings convenience and value to customers whilst also empowering retailers and helping them diversify their revenue.
“2017 was a phenomenal year for CityStasher; our team doubled in size, we established a presence in every major UK city, and our European expansion began in earnest. This round will add further fuel to our momentum, with 2018 on course to be a fast-paced, exciting year for the business.”
George Dimoupolous of Venture Friends, said: “We are happy to help this amazing team build a global brand for luggage storage. CityStasher has a strong presence in the UK and the current investment will help the company launch in new countries while accelerating growth in existing ones.”
David Soskin from HOWZAT Partners, said: “Where to store luggage while on the move is a persistent problem faced by travellers across the globe. CityStasher provides a very simple and scalable solution.”