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A Stellar Rise: Explorage.com Grabs the Spotlight with Double Award Win

Explorage.com, the online marketplace for self storage, won the Rising Star Award at The StartUp Awards 2023. The prestigious ceremony was held on June 22nd at the Depot in Cardiff, where the Explorage.com team celebrated alongside other innovative start-ups in the business community.

Worth an estimated £48 billion annually, the global storage market is big business. There are approximately 27,000 new storage bookings each month in the UK yet finding, comparing and reserving the right solution has previously been inconsistent and long-winded.

The Rising Star Award, bestowed by the StartUp Awards, signifies a tremendous honour for Explorage.com and their founder, Anna Roberts. It solidifies the company’s reputation within the self storage and business community, positioning them as a national leader in the industry. Anna said, “Thank you to our team, our brilliant network of self storage businesses who continue to support us, and a huge thanks to our backers and community of businesses and fellow founders. Wales has been the home of many well-known marketplaces such as Gocompare, Moneysupermarket, confused.com and the former CEO of JustEat; I feel it’s not a coincidence. Our heritage is built on community, networks, relationships and sheer tenacity….the very ingredients needed to build notoriously difficult marketplace businesses”.

In a world where female founders face real challenges, Explorage.com’s achievement holds even greater significance – particularly in such a male dominated industry as self storage. Global statistics from Crunchbase reveal that only 16% of start-ups have a female founder. At the same time, the 2019 Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship indicates that only one in three entrepreneurs in the UK are women. Explorage.com recently raised investment where the statistics are even worse – According to the British Business Bank, for every £1 of venture capital (VC) investment in the UK, all-female founder teams receive less than 1p, all-male founder teams receive 89p, and mixed-gender teams receive 10p. Although venture capital investment in start-ups with female founders is increasing, progress is very slow. At current rates, for all-female teams to reach even 10% of all deals will take more than 25 years (until 2045). Furthermore, 83% of deals that UK VCs made had no women at all on the founding teams, https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/uk-vc-female-founders-report/.

Despite these odds, Explorage.com proudly defies the statistics and exemplifies the strength and determination of female founders.

The StartUp Awards 2023 not only recognised Explorage.com with their Rising Star Award but also celebrated their exceptional teamwork. Before the award ceremony, the Explorage team engaged in an exciting escape room challenge, successfully cracking codes and solving problems with time to spare. The escape room victory showcased their collaborative spirit and marked a true team effort.

The atmosphere was electric as the Explorage team stepped onto the stage to collect their well-deserved award, supported by other founders and even storage operator clients who were there to back the team. Founder Anna Roberts, celebrated alongside her team, acknowledging the dedication and commitment that led to this remarkable achievement.

Reflecting on this significant step, Anna Roberts stated, “This Rising Star award marks an extraordinary milestone for Explorage.com, especially considering our journey began just 8 months ago. It is a testament to the incredible potential and unwavering dedication of our team. We are determined to redefine the world of self storage and this award is just the beginning.”

The Explorage.com team are on a winning streak as just 5 days later they also scooped an industry award for  “Best Use of Social Media – Promoting Business and Industry” at the Container Self Storage and Traders Association (CSTA) conference held in Manchester, a huge testament to the team’s dedication and ingenuity in leveraging alternative marketing techniques to advance industry and business interests. These platforms have become increasingly significant in today’s business environment, providing an essential avenue to reach and engage with customers. The recognition underlines the team’s adeptness at harnessing these tools to elevate the Explorage.com brand and raising industry awareness amongst customers.

Explorage.com also received the highly commended award in “Technology Innovation- Developments to Aid Business”. Explorage.com is at the forefront of technological advancements, driving the business forward and consistently pushing boundaries to enhance operational efficiencies and customer experience. Explorage.com Network Assistant Jaqui Jeffries was highly commended in the “Outstanding Staff Member” category. It’s clear that her hard work and commitment to the team and mission of Explorage.com have not gone unnoticed. Her exemplary performance is indeed an inspiration and reflects the high standard of professionalism at Explorage.com.

The future holds great promise for Explorage.com as they continue their upward trajectory. With the Rising Star Award and CSTA accolades acting as a stepping stone into the future. Explorage.com is set to redefine the self storage industry and pave the way for innovative solutions. These recognitions are undoubtedly a result of a team effort, dedication, and a clear understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape. Well done to all and may this winning streak continue!

 

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Tom Burke

Digital Innovation Manager

tom@m-sparc.com

Tom used to work at the KFC in his hometown of Colwyn Bay before it mysteriously burned down. He then spent several years “on the lam” in East Germany, where he worked as an animator in Berlin. When the wall fell, Tom came home.

He enjoys climbing and hates ice-skating.