Neighbor, a p2p self-storage marketplace, bags $2.5M seed

technicalstudio | March 27, 2018 | 0 | Tech News

Neighbor is another startup with designs on your spare space. Not for letting to guests to bed down in, like Airbnb, but for self-storage. The 2017 founded, Salt Lake City based startup is announcing $2.5 million in seed funding today, raised from Peak Ventures and Pelion Ventures.

The core business idea is to build a trusted marketplace for storage needs by offering people with items on their hands what it bills as a cheaper (and potentially easier) alternative to traditional self-storage solutions — and, on the host side, a platform to earn a little money for not having to do too much (just having space where you can let stuff safely sit).

There’s a social element in that Neighbor is plugging into Facebook’s Graph API and another of its APIs (called All Mutual Friends) so that users who sign in with Facebook can make use of a“store with a friend” feature — which shows which (if any) of their Facebook friends or mutual friends are also hosts or renters on the platform.

The idea being that a degree of linked acquaintance will help Neighbor offer users “more personalized, localized and trustworthy storage options while helping hosts advertise their storage spaces to friends and family on social media”, as it puts it.

The startup claims this feature is “completely unique to the sharing economy space”, though it has been used by other apps — such as dating app, Tinder, to (in that case) enable people to hook up with friends of friends.

Neighbor says it’s banking on the Facebook connection to help it build trust between users and grease activity for a marketplace that’s otherwise essentially asking a pair of strangers to agree to store/host others’ items in their home.

Co-founder Preston Alder says he came up with the idea for the business when he was a student about to move to Peru for a summer internship and needed to find a nearby place to store his stuff — but didn’t want to fork out on traditional storage costs.

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