Manhattan-Based urBin Is Disrupting The Physical Storage Industry
urBin is creating a new approach to physical storage by effectively bringing it to customers on demand. With a few clicks on the company’s website, they’ll deliver as many of their proprietary trunk-sized storage bins as you need. You just fill them up, and they take care of the rest. You can then get your items back as soon as the next day for a small fee.
Behind urBin are co-founders Joshua Ernst and Justen Scheule.
Ernst is the CEO of the company. He has a background in finance and a passion for entrepreneurship. At 19, he started a one-man franchise selling educational books door-to-door, setting sales records and ranking in the top 1% of 3,000+ national franchises. Following a few years of working on Wall Street, Ernst moved on to pursue entrepreneurship in 2012.
Scheule is an Advisor for urBin who also works for New York-based hedge fund Jet Capital. He began his career as an investment banking analyst in the M&A group at UBS. A year later, he was recruited to the proprietary trading group of Credit Suisse. He worked there until joining Gleacher & Company, where he and Ernst met.
“Space is a valuable commodity in metropolitan areas like New York and is often in short-supply,” Ernst tells me. “People should enjoy living in the space that they have, without having to deal with the clutter that can that can pile up from off-season or bulky items. Moving to a larger apartment or dealing with the old self-storage industry is often out of reach and just impractical. Traditional storage solutions require customers to pack up their car or truck (assuming they have one), haul their items to a storage facility, unload it and then pack it into a unit. And that’s just the move-in; retrieving items can be just as much trouble. Having used storage when I first moved to New York from Texas, I became all too familiar with the customer hassles. Who would want to waste a Saturday hauling their things to and from a storage facility?
“UrBin takes care of the hassle of pick-up and delivery for customers, and allows them the privacy to pack and unpack their items from the comfort of their homes at their own pace. With just a few clicks, we‘ll pick up, put customers’ storage bins into storage and then deliver their items back whenever you want to access them. We help our customers discover new space without having to leave their homes.”
urBin is less than a year old, yet they’ve managed to turn this new approach to storage into a growing business. “With tireless dedication and research, we’ve created what we believe to be the best in class product for on-demand storage,” says Ernst. “We’ve recruited an excellent and passionate core management team and truly enjoy the daily challenges of changing the way people think about storage and using space.”
Indeed, some customers are doing interesting things with their on-demand storage: “One customer actually stores a set of weights and workout gear with us and has them delivered whenever she wants to workout at home. She’s certainly a customer that keeps our guys on top of our game (and in excellent shape!).”
Ernst says the long-term vision for urBin is to “change how people look at storage and living space altogether.”
“We’re proud of the fact that many of our customers don’t identify as traditional storage customers. Because of our better approach to storage, with pickup and delivery just a click away, people are seeing that we don’t just provide more space but ultimately make their lives a lot easier.”
The physical storage market is one that desperately needs a better solution, and urBin is providing that. I’m excited to see where they take this.