MakeSpace, a well-funded startup that emerged from the recent explosion of on-demand services companies, has replaced its CEO, the company confirmed to WIRED. Co-founder Sam Rosen has stepped down and co-founder and COO Rahul Gandhi will become CEO. The company says the departure, which has been in the works for the last month, was “completely amicable” and plans to announce the news Monday morning.
MakeSpace was founded in 2013 amid a surge in interest from investors and consumers in new on-demand services enabled by mobile phones. The company sold itself as a “cloud storage for physical stuff” a concept that contributed to some observers declaring the on-demand trend—”“—had gone too far. Indeed, self-storage units for peoples’ junk is more of a tech-enabled service than a digital innovation, but investors took the idea seriously. MakeSpace raised more than $57 million in venture funding from investors including NBA star Carmelo Anthony, rap legend Nas (Nasir Jones), and the investment firm of the Winklevoss brothers.
MakeSpace’s service picks up, stores, and delivers items to storage units for its customers for a monthly fee. Since it launched, a number of copycats have flooded the market, something Gandhi says is a positive thing. “The market is continuing to grow and get stronger. That makes us a lot more confident that the service we’re building has a huge need in the market,” he says.
MakeSpace’s most recent round of funding, a $30 million Series C from venture firm 8VC, closed in December of last year. It valued MakeSpace at $100 million. Rosen had planned to raise more money in the fall of this year, a move Gandhi describes as “proactive.” Those plans have now been put on hold until next year. Gandhi says the company has enough capital to last it through next year, and that MakeSpace’s cost of acquiring customers does not exceed that of the old-school storage unit companies it competes with. The company has “tens of thousands” of customers across four cities, with approximately 225 employees, Gandhi says.
There may be additional announcements regarding the company’s team and strategy in the coming weeks, Gandhi says, noting that there are no plans for layoffs, closing facilities, or changing its pricing structure. The company expects more than one of MakeSpace’s markets to hit profitability next year.