Storage Switch Up

By on Dec 9, 2018 in News

The Ang brothers, David and Mark.

Second Closet, a start-up based in Toronto, is revolutionizing the storage industry. The company was created on an operating model where users only pay for what they store, not a fixed storage locker price. With prices starting as low as $3/month, customers can have a virtual second closet to store seasonal, personal and unused items. The company picks up items for storage and delivers them back when clients need them again.

With the rising population and demand for space in Toronto, people are struggling to find extra storage. These services are transforming the storage industry and addressing prominent issues of the moving pains associated with city living.

This year, Second Closet raised $2 million from investment company MIG Group, helping to fully launch the business and make the entire storage process convenient and efficient.We spoke to founder and CEO, Mark Ang for more details. He cofounded the company with his brother, David.

Why is now the time for your company to exist?

Ang: There’s going to be 10B people in the world by 2050. They aren’t going to be flooding the suburbs, they’ll gravitate to urban areas provided there’s housing available. At the same time, we’re not seeing condominium developments slow down. For cities like Toronto, it’s easy to look at a city like New York to get a glimpse of what life could and likely will be like when things get more densely populated. Since housing prices outpace personal income, condo developers are simply building smaller units so that they still achieve the optimal price per square foot but the nominal price of the unit as a whole is within financial reach. That basically creates a whole lot of shoe boxes in big urban cities. I think we’re position well to help people live in cities with growing real-estate prices and shrinking spaces.


What surprised you most about starting Second Closet?

Ang: The most surprising thing about starting Second Closet has been seeing the breadth of use cases we’ve been able to help our clients with. When we launched, we thought we’d store 100% seasonal items and act as a literal second closet. And while that’s a big part of the business, it’s been equal parts interesting and rewarding to see clients use us as a solution to store their stuff between condo closing dates, while they go on vacation, etc.

What has your journey been like to get where you are?

Ang: The journey is never easy – otherwise more people would do it. We started the business to add value to our clients, and we’re relentlessly working towards making that better every single day. What I’ll say is that there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes on in the background to ensure that the packaged service is as seamless as intended!

What advice do you have to other young, aspiring entrepreneurs that want to start their own business?

Ang: Make sure you’re in it for the right reasons and are prepared to run the marathon. Seeking wealth accumulation is fine – it drives personal and economic development in the process – but that just means that you’ll need to brace yourself for the lows. In my view, if you’re optimizing for wealth accumulation it’s often sought through the path of least resistance. For me, I started Second Closet out of a personal need and a desire to help other people in similar situations. Having a personal “why” is more compelling than to just make money.