Shomer wants to do for extra storage space what Airbnb did for extra bedrooms: The Miami-based app connects those who need storage with those who have space to spare in their home or business. With Miami rent the nightmare that it is these days, who doesn’t know someone who could use extra storage space or extra income?
Founders Andy Leimdorfer, an alum of Miami Beach’s Hebrew Academy, and Argentina native Nico Pastura are launching the app strictly in the Magic City in mid-May to early-June, with their sights set on the national market by 2021. Their biggest selling point: Shomer will be cheaper than traditional self-storage.
Maybe you have a box of keepsakes that doesn't fit at your place. Maybe you want to store your kayak closer to the water. Maybe you need somewhere to hide your sex swing while your parents are visiting. Rather than charging you for an entire storage unit, Shomer lets you rent just the space your items occupy. Also, the contracts are month-to-month instead of annual.
The app is meant to make the process easy, with geolocation used to determine the closest available storage space and third-party payment processing company Stripe handling online payments. Like Airbnb, both tenants and hosts will have an all-important rating that helps you choose whom to trust with your stuff or whose stuff to allow into your home or office. As for accessibility, the host will include in the listing whether it's by appointment, specific times, or any time.
Shomer joins a growing list of peer-to-peer self-storage startups to come along in recent years, such as Australia’s Spacer, which expanded into the U.S., and the Salt Lake City-based Neighbor, among others. It was only a matter of time with the sharing economy booming and, according to Leimdorfer, one out of every ten Americans using self-storage.
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Named after the biblical Hebrew word for guardian, Shomer marks the first app for Leimdorfer and Pastura, who met through a mutual friend over a decade ago. Their background is in commercial real estate, with Leimdorfer in commercial real estate management and Pastura in real estate development.
“We realized there was a big trend in e-commerce and decided to explore real estate solutions for them,” Pastura said via email. “We came up with the concept of doing some type of WeWork for the industrial sector.
“After a few months of running models and working details, we saw a clear opportunity to take our vision to the next level," he continued. "We decided to use a different trend to bring a more personalized solution to anyone looking for storage. Sharing economy for self-storage was our solution.”