Sxuirrel, a Stellenbosch-based peer-to-peer storage and space finding solution, has secured seed funding of R2.4 million from a strategic partner investment holding company with interests in the storage, logistics and transport industry, in return for a minority shareholding.
Sxuirrel is South Africa’s first peer-to-peer storage solution. By disrupting an existing industry to provide self-storage opportunities through consumer-based sharing solutions, Sxuirrel is creating an entirely new storage marketplace, focused on the growing millennial generation. Think of Sxuirrel as the Airbnb for storage and space solutions – connecting people with available space, to those in need of space.
Co-founder, CEO and Stellenbosch student, Michael-John Dippenaar, recognised the increasing demand for more affordable, accessible and flexible storage solutions, whilst studying at the University.
“Newly built apartments and residence rooms are getting smaller every year. With consumerism on the rise and the traditional storage solutions to our disposal outdated, we saw an opportunity ripe for disruption”.
“Traditional storage options are unaffordable, inaccessible and quite frankly not a viable short-term solution for most millennials,” says Dippenaar.
Alongside his two co-founders, Henri Bam and Michael Louis, also students at the University, they set out to solve the problem they experienced firsthand.
After participation with, and winning support from the Stellenbosch-based accelerator Launchlab, the Scurry (as they refer to their team) managed to craft their idea into a value proposition and business concept.
Sxuirrel connects a community of people who need space, “Storees”, with those who can provide it, “Listees”. This enables users to store their belongings at a listing of their choosing, access their belongings when desired and only pay for the space they actually use. Users who have underutilised space can make listings of their own and turn their space into profit with no effort at all.
Listees and Storees have profiles that allow a peer-to-peer rating and review system to build trust between the parties and to inform other community members of the level of service provided by their peers.
To further ensure trust and security between the parties, Sxuirrel also ensures a rigorous verification process and the storage of illegal goods is prohibited. Backed by the peer-to-peer rating system, Storees can decide with which Listee they feel secure to store their belongings, and Listees can accept requests of their choosing.