Australian self-storage and parking space marketplace startup Spacer has kicked off its US expansion intentions with a bang, acquiring Californian competitor Roost.
Spacer declined to disclose the value of the deal, but did reveal the transaction had now been completed and the merged entity had rebranded to Spacer.com.
“[Roost] is very much the same model as Spacer, but in the US,” Spacer co-founder and chief executive Mike Rosenbaum told Business Insider.
“The founders of that business are very good at starting businesses – they’re serial entrepreneurs… We acquired the business to take it to the next level.”
According to industry database Crunchbase, Roost started in February 2015 with $US125,000 ($AU164,075) of seed money from investor 500 Startups plus $US1.2 million ($AU1.58 million) in July that same year. The San Francisco startup had fewer than 10 staff at the time of the acquisition.
Rosenbaum said there would be no staff cuts as a result of the buyout.
“On the contrary, we will be ramping up our operations centre to take on more growth both in Australia and US… our team is growing.”
While Spacer acquired all the assets of Roost – including its customer list, intellectual property, technology, staff, business relationships — the US company’s technology platform has been wound up in favour of unifying into the Australian tech.
“We’ve spent the last couple of months migrating Roost across to the Spacer platform. We’ve invested heavily in the Spacer platform so it makes sense to migrate [in that direction],” Rosenbaum said.
According to Spacer, the storage and parking space market in the US is 33 times the size of Australia’s. Initially, the startup will concentrate on the San Francisco, Washington DC and Chicago markets.
A new concept for the company in its US operations will be partnerships with car sharing services that it gained from the acquisition. Zip Car, Enterprise and Maven Drive will continue its former relationships with Roost with the newly merged startup.
Rosenbaum, a former Deals Direct chief executive, and co-founder Roland Tam started Spacer in October 2015 with $AU1.2 million series A funding. The company claims that it has seen 30% month-on-month growth, although it did not reveal precise revenue numbers.
Spacer, as a marketplace app, does not provide any storage or parking space itself but facilitates the matching up of customers to businesses or private citizens that do.
“Whilst peer-to-peer remains our most common transaction, we are also finding strong support from businesses who want to generate easy income from under-utilised office space and car parking,” said Rosenbaum.