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'Airbnb Of Industrial' Expands To U.S., Germany

Forklift truck in a warehouse

The online logistics platform Stowga — which says it aims to be the Airbnb of the industrial property market — is preparing to expand into the U.S. and Germany.

Investment by CBRE opens the way for London-based Stowga’s expansion from the U.K.’s Golden Triangle of Midlands warehouse locations into the U.S. and Germany.

The startup led by Charlie Pool has secured £1.5M in its latest fundraising, including significant backing from CBRE.

The platform matches occupiers with rapidly changing requirements for shed and pallet storage space against a database of occupiers with short-term space to spare. Stowga says companies will be able to immediately buy and sell space like a tradable commodity to fit their needs. There will be no leases.

Despite the tie-up with CBRE, the platform will be open to other brokers.

Stowga has its eyes on the United States industrial market. “The relationship with CBRE, who are so big in the United States, obviously opens the way to the North American markets,” Stowga chief exeuctive Charlie Pool told Bisnow.

Pool said that progress could be slowed thanks to the geographic scale of the U.S. market, which made it difficult to generate liquidity of supply of surplus floor space in any given location. The task was easier in more geographically compact markets such as the U.K., Germany and another potential target market, the Netherlands.

Other investors in the latest round include fintech startup Anthemis and Speedinvest, the venture capitalist, Estates Gazette reports.

Pool said: “Part of the purpose of the fund-raising is to work out how we expand internationally. We are looking to open in Germany, because it is Europe’s largest logistics market, and already have a willing partner in Fiege, who operate 160 warehouses across the country.”

It makes sense to expand to Germany because DHL — who are among the platform’s largest users — are German owned, Pool said. Around half its customer are international businesses, and this is driving expansion into other markets.

Unique research ahead of the platform’s launch in the UK involved mapping every single industrial property location in the country. The result — now mapped online — helps guide efforts to create a liquid pool of lettable premises.

Related Topics: CBRE, DHL, Feige, Stowga, Charlie Pool