SecurSpace vying to be the Airbnb of the industrial world

In a nation that depends on shipping, it’s quickly running out of affordable places for trucks and containers to park and store. Founder Lance Theobald wanted to connect those who already have available industrial real estate space with those needing to use it.

Sort of like the Airbnb of the industrial world.

He began envisioning his company, SecurSpace, while working for the largest chassis leasing company in the U.S. Various sales roles took him between Charlotte and Los Angeles, where he began understanding the need for accessible industrial real estate. In many key port cities, it can be nearly impossible to find storage space.

SecurSpace currently caters to large and small trucking companies who need space to store their equipment—whether that’s a trailer chassis, cargo containers, or heavy machinery and equipment. Since launching their platform in July, they have made partnerships with more than 300 locations in 22 states. They hope to expand their offering 10x by the end of 2019, with a goal of 3,000 locations listed on their platform.

By September 2017, they launched a simple web app (which Theobald describes as a Craigslist-type marketplace with credit card processing functionality) to validate their market. By January, their quick success was a clear indicator that significant demand exists. They used the funds generated in this first phase to build out the fully-functioning platform, which launched in July 2018.

Part of the value of SecurSpace is turning underutilized space into a monthly income for property owners. Properties listed on the platform can be anything from a condensed dirt lot to a C TPAT certified storage facility (think TSA Pre-Check for commercial transportation). SecurSpace already has clients making anywhere from $3,000-$200,000 per month renting space on their platform.

“When we’re talking to a new partner, we don’t ask for alterations or changes to their yard facility,” Theobald explained. “We assess what you have and represent that on the marketplace, then drive the right buyers to your front door.”

Their team, which includes President/Midwest Director Cory Bailey and Chair of the Board Benjamin Satterlee, has already raised one round of funding to begin building out phase two. This month marked a major turning point for the company, as they operated in a surplus for the first time—a trend they expect to continue.

In their second round of funding, the team is looking to raise $1M to invest in partnerships and build their network.

“Whether you’re looking at construction, government contracting, or heavy equipment operators, the world runs on real estate,” Theobald said. “AirBnb has dominated as dominated the sharing economy in the residential space. WeWork is taking a different approach in the office and commercial space. We are the marketplace for industrial real estate.”

Working from Charlotte and operating in 22 states (not including North Carolina) is difficult but provides Theobald with the opportunity to grow his family while focusing on his business at the same time.

“I’m raising a family with three small children,” Theobald said. “Charlotte is a great place with a great quality of life. You can attract good talent here, which is important as we’ll be adding more positions to our team in the Charlotte market in 2019.”

Theobald quit his corporate job in July 2017 to focus on his burgeoning company, just a few months prior to their initial launch. While he says that it may not have been the wisest decision, he had saved for years to pursue his entrepreneurial dream.

“I spent five very stressful months thinking ‘What have I done?’” Theobald said. “If you’re in the corporate world and feel like you’re meant to be an entrepreneur, action isn’t always the best step. [First], go validate your market. If you’re finding suppliers in a geographic region, try to match them up with buyers. Don’t take a transaction fee, just hook them up and see if you’re providing value. If you are, you might be onto something and be able to expand your horizons a bit.”

To keep up with SecurSpace or subscribe to their platform, visit https://secur.space.

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