How many times have you dragged your suitcases around a city because you had an early morning flight or a late night one and the room you’ve booked is not available yet? And what happens if you leave your stuff at the hotel, but it’s far away from the city centre and the main sights or the airport? Then you have to go all the way back and lose precious time.
Travelling, or transiting through ports, train stations and airports can be tough if you do not have a place to safely and conveniently store your luggage.
That’s where Stasher, the world’s first temporary luggage storage network, connected with hotels and various stores in more than 150 cities around the world, can help out. All storage places are conveniently located and can hold your luggage for a very small fee. Moreover, Stasher runs a 24/7 support line to cater to every relevant requirement.
It was lovely talking with Antony, Co-founder, and CCO of this smart start-up. Anthony explained to me what exactly Stasher does, how it works and how the idea was born.
Anthony, tell me, how did it all begin?
Jacob [Co-founder and CEO] and I were roommates in Oxford and this is where we first started toying with the idea of one day having our own start-up. It all started during the summer holidays in 2015 when friends kept asking to leave their stuff at my King’s Cross flat. When my brother asked, I jokingly replied: ‘Sure, but I’m charging you for it!’
And that joke was the lightbulb moment.
We quickly put together a website and started storing bags in their flats.
It soon became evident that although the idea had some merit, this model was not scalable. Jake had to leave lectures early because customers needed to pick their bags up from his flat! Luckily enough, we soon realised that local shops and hotels could be used as hosts to solve a huge pain point for travellers, and that’s when Stasher was born.
After receiving significant investment in 2016 from James Gibson, the CEO of Big Yellow Storage, Jacob and I quit our full-time jobs to concentrate all our efforts on Stasher.
You are now operating on 4 continents, tell us more.
Many things have changed since that day in 2015 and it’s been an incredible journey so far. Our team tripled in size – we just made our 15th hire this month – we’ve established a presence in every major European city, and our international expansion is well underway with StashPoints being added daily in the USA, Canada, and Australia.
We now have over 900 StashPoints in 180+ cities!
Luckily, we have been able to work with international brands, such as Expedia and Hotels.com, and partners of the likes of Leisure Pass, Megabus, and Accor, who have really supported us through our journey.
Where do people prefer to leave their luggage? Do they trust local cafes for example, or do they prefer leaving them at hotels since the procedure is more familiar?
First-time users tend to prefer hotel chains as they’re more familiar with the procedure and recognise the brand. We’ve seen that once people get more comfortable with the system and know what to expect, they tend to be more flexible with their choices. Of course, hotels, in general, have better opening hours and are ideally located near all major tourist attractions and transport hubs, so that still tips the balance in their favour.
Besides facilitating travellers’ life, one of Stasher’s aims is also to support local shops and economies?
That’s right. We always say that Stasher’s aim is twofold: giving people the opportunity to enjoy their day without having to drag cumbersome luggage, but also providing a boost to high street shops, businesses, and hotels.
Stasher’s hosts earn revenue from every bag stored (some earned more than £20,000 last year), whilst they also benefit from a boosted footfall and can attract new customers by showcasing everything they have to offer to the Stasher clientele. With around 40% of Stasher customers making additional purchases at drop-off/ pick-up, the revenue from bags stored is often just the tip of the iceberg.
Where can travellers find Stasher points in Greece?
We have plenty of locations in Greece for customers to choose from. Tourists travelling to Athens and islands such as Corfu, Crete, Naxos, and Santorini can easily find a StashPoint at stasher.com to drop their bag off and make the most out of the beautiful sea and beaches.
Your plans for the future?
Stasher is constantly changing to provide a better experience to our hosts and customers, to whom we own our success. Our goal for the next year is to further improve the platform, so that booking with us becomes as seamless as possible, as well as offer more locations worldwide.
We want to make luggage storage a core part of the travel experience, much like booking a hotel when a trip is coming up. After all, why would anyone want to drag a heavy bag when there’s a convenient solution available just around the corner?
And that’s so very true! Stop worrying about luggage and make the maximum of your stay or transit.