The Shurgard-founder Michael Fogelberg is starting his third storage company. 24 Storage is trying to be more high tech than its competitors and has raised around $4.5 million from Staffan Persson and the families Wattin and Tilander, among others.
The company’s business model is centered around a high degree of automation and moving a majority of the sales process to the web.
“We’re trying to build our philosophy around contemporary technology. For example, you can rent the storage over video conference, and check in with your smartphone. My interest for technology has always been there. As a kid, I used to disaasemble and reassemble all kinds of things, so to get the opportunity to combine technology and the storage industry is very exciting”, Michael Fogelberg, CEO and co-founder of 24 Storage, says.
He has been in the industry for the last 20 years and has been called Sweden’s uncrowned king of storage. An epithet that probably isn’t entirely unwarranted. His interest for the storage industry first appeared in 1988 when he moved to Seattle, Washington, to study at the university.
“In ’92 my family wanted me to come back to Europe, so I rented out my house and needed somewhere to store all my stuff. That’s when I stumbled upon Shurgard. I thought it was a fantastic business idea”, Michael Fogelberg says.
He convinced his father, Åke Fogelberg, to start Shurgard Europe with him. Said and done. In january 1994, the launched the company as a joint venture with the American storage giant.
Ten years later they sold their company to the American parent company. But neither father nor son, were tired of the storage industry. They started Selstor in 2006 together with Patric Metdephenninghen, among others. That company has now been sold to Pelican Self Storage.
This is, in other words, the third time over for Michael Fogelberg.
“I’ve worked with this for about a year and we launched this summer. Right now, we have about 2,000 customers and the goal is to build the business in Sweden. We are looking high and low for real estate in the Stockholm-region and we’re planing to build three to four storage sites per year.”
24Storage has also bought four other storage companies in Tyresö, Sundbyberg, Borås and Gothenburg.
Michael Fogelberg and his co-founders Stefan Nilsson, Mats Steijner and Patric Metdphenninghen have closed two venture capital rounds. In may last year, they invested about $1.4 million themselves in the company and raised $2.3 million from financier Staffan Persson and the families Wattin and Tilander.
The owners invested an additional $3 million. Father and son, Jörgen and Fredrik Tilander led the round through their venture capital firm Realm AB. They are the owners of the liquor company Xanté.
In addition to the $6.7 million the company has raised, it has also taken loans of almost $6 million.
“We have raised capital to grow the company and expand the business during the year. We’re expecting to have revenues of around $3.5 million this year”, Michael Fogelberg says.