SpaceFill, the French startup that digitises warehouses has recently grabbed €1 million to develop the largest flexible storage network in Europe. Founded in June 2018, SpaceFill has already enabled more than 100 European companies to find, book and manage temporary storage facilities among 1500 warehouses in France.
Primarily, SpaceFill provides storage space outsourced temporary and remotely control it via a SaaS interface. The startup functions as a digital storage commissioner and logistics platforms partners throughout France.
From family business to a smarter logistics chain
It was while working in the warehouse of the family business that Maxime Huzar, founder and CEO of SpaceFill, realised that 20% of the surface storage remained unused throughout the year. “This is a very common situation at the national level, where, of the 78 million square meters of warehousing space, nearly 20 million m2 are available at all times. This situation is accentuated by the effects of seasonality, promotions or growth of certain activities, ” says Maxime Huzar.
The reasons for the under utilisation of assets are numerous but illustrate a major sectoral problem: the lack of access to information on the availability of spaces, their prices and their quality. Not to mention that the regional or family logistics providers who operate the warehouses do not often have the commercial means to promote their unused space outside their region.
This lack of information is pushing companies to make biased decisions and they end up making unclear choices about their supply chains. In fact, knowing where storage space is available in real time makes it possible to imagine a logistics chain that is smarter, more flexible and more adapted to its activity. “Better inventory allocation reduces transportation costs, CO2 emissions and customer delivery times. Similarly, moving from 2 storage centers to 5 in France could in some cases reduce the freight bill and CO2 emissions of shippers by 30%, “explains Maxime Huzar.
So, how does it work? And how it helps?
SpaceFill makes it possible to activate or deactivate one or more outsourced storage spaces directly online via its platform, to remotely control them and to integrate them with the software tools already used. This access to a scalable storage infrastructure allows the startup’s customers to temporarily store their goods, respond to emergencies, better distribute their inventory geographically, reduce the time and cost of shipping their goods, or develop geographically without a long-term commitment.
Who are the ideal customers?
French industrial companies who want to set up in a new region, and also European companies including Czech, Polish, Austrian or German who wish to have access to the French market.
Maxime Huzar confirms, “In the current context of international competition and trade acceleration, it is increasingly necessary to temporarily access storage spaces to be able to scaler easily and quickly. The traditional commercial lease is becoming less and less suitable for a growing number of companies.”
“SpaceFill, thus, wishes to benefit companies with goods to store, advantages traditionally reserved for online storage or cloud: Accessibility of information, responsiveness online tools, trade security and simple interconnections of information systems and transparency of billing. The platform brings together a marketplace linked to a powerful warehouse search back office with availability, a remote inventory management SaaS interface for customers and an interface for partner warehouses.
The purpose of fundraising
As per the information by the company, this fundraising of €1M was completed just 5 months after SpaceFill was founded by the three co-founders Maxime Huzar (CEO), Gustave Roche (CPO) and Quentin Drillon (COO).
It was conducted with the German fund La Famiglia and recognised business angels such as Xavier Niel (Kima Ventures), Michael Benabou (Financial Saint James) or The Family. The purpose of the fundraising is to accelerate the development of the product and develop the network of partner warehouses.
Following this lifting, SpaceFill is now recruiting more than a dozen employees (Operations, Supply, Sales) in its Paris offices. “We want to enable companies to save time and flexibility. Thanks to SpaceFill, our customers can vary their storage costs and can invest in production and development resources rather than commit to a long-term lease with a warehouse. “
The company currently has 8 employees and hires 10 experts in 2019. Its head office is located in Paris.
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