When Maxime Villemure bought a new, two-garage house for his growing family, he had no idea his decision to rent out his extra garage space would eventually lead to an offer from “Dans L’oeuil du dragon,” the French-Canadian version of “Dragons’ Den.” Since its creation in 2016, Villemure’s storage startup, Sharebee, has disrupted the $37-billion self-storage industry, providing secure, local storage to users at less than half the price of conventional units. A recipient of the prestigious Fondation Montréal Inc. scholarship, Sharebee functions just like AirBnB, allowing users to profit off extra storage space in their own house or find a local, cheap storage alternative.
Sharebee is the storage solution built for the sharing economy. Despite owning no capital of their own, Sharebee’s storage space is massive, as they draw upon users to provide it for them. This model allows Sharebee to avoid a problem most storage companies face: finding space to grow their company. By using already existing space, Sharebee is a sustainable storage option with the potential for large capital growth.
Sharebee’s worth extends beyond its problem-solving capabilities; they are a company that seeks to integrate new technology into their model at every turn. With over one third of their employees being McGill graduates, Sharebee is able to make innovation an integral part of their culture, utilizing blockchain technology to streamline their services and expand their capabilities.
Additionally, Sharebee is the only peer-to-peer storage company in North America that offers insurance. Through Sharebee’s insurance deal, both renters and hosts can take advantage of custom-built insurance plans, making both users and lenders feel more comfortable renting their respective units. It is this kind of innovation and problem-solving that make Sharebee destined for success.
The accessible nature of the Sharebee app allows the company to tap into the student-storage-market. Homebound students can safely store their winter coats and textbooks until they return in the fall, without having to drive immense distances to retrieve them. Alternatively, students can list their extra space on Sharebee to store others’ belongings, a convenient way to profit off otherwise unused space. In Montreal, listers earn an average of $2,784 per year and give purpose to wasted space. Sharebee also offers discount pricing for students, making it the perfect way for students to store over the summer.
An emerging power in the sharing economy, Sharebee has already begun to expand upon their storage unit prototype, offering low-cost, long-term parking in unused garages. With a diverse team of programmers and executives, Sharebee hopes to further expand and improve upon their storage capabilities in more than just storage and parking. While many may credit their success to their cutting-edge technology, Sharebee maintains that their success is due to their core value – a commitment to excellent service.
Whether it’s a basement, attic, or garage, Sharebee connects people who need space with those who have it in excess. The interdependence fostered by this connection stands at the heart of Sharebee’s mission, and evokes comparisons to the complex characteristics of beehives; the reason behind the “bee” in Sharebee. As Sharebee continues to spread its hive, get online, list your unused space, and start saving some honey.