Our investment in Clutter: using Software to Create Space for City Dwellers
Our thesis is that great companies now come from everywhere and so we’re always on the move, looking to find the most ambitious entrepreneurs, to help them execute their plans to improve the way we live. At Atomico we invest in global opportunities where we know that we can help scale a business in specific markets around the world. One of the places we’ve been spending time recently, and where we see clear momentum around the tech scene, is Los Angeles. And we believe we’ve unearthed a global category leader in LA-headquartered Clutter.
As urbanisation increases and rents rise accordingly, more needs to fit into less available space. According to the United Nations, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050. A study estimates that the average U.S. household contains 300,000 items, while one in nine Americans store; collectively spending $30b a year on storage. What to do with the often-cherished but frequently-underused possessions stuffing cupboards, filling up drawers, and blocking hallways is a niggling question for anyone with a home or apartment? This mismatch between our desire to accumulate and our capacity to store has created a $30bn market for storage in the US alone. However, not everyone wants to defer to Marie Kondo, and many more don’t want to spend their weekends grappling with traditional storage companies, which suffer from ceaseless bureaucracy and sloppy logistics. This is where Clutter steps in.
At Atomico our conviction is that software and technology will transform all sectors of our economy. One of the largest sectors which has until today remained largely untouched by software technology is storage services. Until now.
Clutter is an end-to-end storage company which takes the pain out of cataloguing, packing, storing, and returning your items. Founded by Brian Thomas and Ari Mir, and headquartered in LA, Clutter is expanding quickly across the United States. Clutter’s solution is on-demand, taking on the incumbents by providing a better service at a competitive price. Clutter’s prowess in logistics and software has delighted consumers, and outflanked traditional storage companies whose specialism has never extended beyond buying space cheaply. By rethinking what consumers really want from a storage company, Clutter has marked itself out as the leading start-up in an exciting space. With Clutter people have their belongings picked up on-demand and stored away, while still having them accessible whenever they want via their smart phone. The service not only provides immediate convenience for customers, it also provides a much more efficient utilization of storage.
We’re incredibly impressed by what Brian, Ari, and the team have achieved so far and we believe they have a huge opportunity to become a category winner in this field. We’re proud to announce we are leading their $64m Series C round with Sequoia and GV.
However, what we and Clutter are most excited about is the opportunity to combine our team’s founder DNA with Clutter’s own hard-core entrepreneurial spirit. Atomico is a firm built by, and for, founders, and we’re delighted to contribute this experience to Clutter’s rapidly accelerating journey.
From Atomico, Partner Hiro Tamura will join the board. Working closely with Hiro, Partner Niall Wass – who was part of the Executive Team at Uber until 2016, leading the international business across 50 countries – will become a board adviser and work closely with Clutter, supported by our US-based Executive-in-Residence (XiR) Carter Adamson, as it scales city-by-city across the country. Already present in LA, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, Brian, Ari and the team are working to ensure that theirs is a storage solution available to everyone. Our team is looking forward to fuelling Clutter’s efforts to free up everyone’s personal space in a hassle-free way.
We’re proud to back Clutter as they continue to transform one of the last remaining ossified, global industries and one of the biggest yet: the multi-billion dollar storage industry.