In today’s hyper-connected world, megatrends such as vacation rental market explosion, increase in sharing economy, and always on smartphone connectivity have been observed. Customers stuck as a traveler either before check-in or after checkout have to kill few hours as they don’t have the any option.. Moreover, if they want to enjoy their time by attending either an event or concert large bags creates problem as these are not allowed in such places. Furthermore, there is no solution in the market that lets customers or the traveler to store their luggage for a few hours or days.
The Co-founder and CEO, Sid Khattri faced a similar situation during one of the vacation trips. The experience he received at that time pushed him to established Vertoe. It is America’s first and leading on-demand, short-term storage service provider that offers 200+ secure locations to store luggage and other personal items citywide across all major cities in the US. The company connects people who are looking to store their bags and personal items for a few hours or days to nearby local shops and businesses that have storage space.
Addressing Need for Short-Term Storage
In the summer of 2016, Vertoe was started as a weekend experiment and after learning, testing and iterating, things got serious after a year. The company ended up joining Techstars NYC’s Winter 2018 program. Now, it is addressing the huge latent need for short term storage. As a customer-centric company, Vertoe’s core value ‘Think Big and Do More’ is one of the key drivers behind its success. CEO Sid asserts, “This is true both internally for our team that aspires to think big and do even more and externally for our customers — by getting rid of their luggage storage problem within 5 min of where they are for as low as $6/day, we let them think big and do more from their day as they no longer have to schlep bags and have the freedom to be aspirational and experience life.”
Easy Access To Safe Storage Space
Vertoe serves customers who are predominantly leisure travelers. For them, traditional storage locks took lengthy (a month or more) and expensive contracts. Plus, access is not instant. To address this, it is using unused space at local shops and businesses and delivering a solution where customers can book and access safe storage space anywhere, anytime for as low as $6/day. The company is built to be as frictionless as possible from the ground up and customers can search, book and navigate secure storage space in 3 simple steps instantly within minutes of where they are from. Through its first of its kind solution in the world, Vertoe is creating the short term storage industry similar to businesses like Uber and Airbnb that created the ridesharing and vacation rental industries.
Factors Fueling Growth
The rise of the sharing economy and always-on smartphone connectivity has been critical to Vertoe’s success and growth. A decade ago, it was unheard of inviting strangers to live in your house and people would be afraid to ride in a car with strangers. But today, thanks to companies like Uber and Airbnb, consumer trust is built and these behaviors have become a standard. Moreover, always on smartphone connectivity has helped people on the go, requesting on-demand services, and connecting to providers via a simple app without the organizational need to promote such communication via human resources.
Focusing On Fulfilling Customer’s Needs
In today’s competitive world, fast, lean and thoughtful execution is key to success for any business. Rather than dwelling on its sales, Vertoe focuses constantly on the needs of its consumers to offer a wonderful experience. In addition, the company continually keeps learning from its users and uses data-driven tactics to match their needs in an easy and affordable way. As a consequence, its net promoter scores are in the excellent range, where we’re ranked nearly five stars across various review platforms. This early momentum allowed Vertoe to raise two rounds of funding in consecutive years that further fueled our development from being the largest player in the US to a multinational business with a presence in over 60 cities across the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Leading light of Vertoe
As a Co-founder and CEO, Sid’s key responsibility is to align all stakeholders to execute towards the vision in a capital-efficient way. Sid with his team has already felt the pain of customers’ problems and therefore, got organized as a team and company to execute on the vision to solve that problem. Sid says, “This requires you to shift between many responsibilities big and small that could range from fundraising to hiring to managing day to day operations. At the end of the day, you do whatever you have to, to will that vision into reality.”
Sid believes that the most challenging part is to keep shifting based on internal and external factors all the time as well as adjust and adapt quickly and be comfortable with uncertainty all the time. “To name a few, your customers’ needs are evolving that requires constant innovation, your internal team is evolving and unlike the early days when you would be in the weeds, you need to become a mentor and put together rockstar teams as the company gets bigger,” comments Sid.
This year, Vertoe has set three primary goals for its development and growth. First, it is looking to expand in more cities and more neighborhoods in a city that have high tourist density to ensure it is available where its users need it. Second, continue to learn more about local residents and tailor its product and service to better meet their needs. And last, refine and polish its product to deliver a world-class experience.