The investment was made up of a syndicate of nine business angels led by Huw Bishop of Camau Nesaf, as well as funds from M-SParc themselves and the Wales Angel Co-Fund. It is particularly noteworthy as less than 4% of Angel investments in the UK go to female-founded businesses.
Worth an estimated £48 billion, 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 self-storage is inconsistent and long-winded. With 60% of customers who use self-storage doing so because they are experiencing a stressful life event, Founder Anna Roberts came up with the idea for an online marketplace for self-storage and facilities, developing a user-led software model.
Anna explains, “The benefits of an easily accessible, integrated online service were clear. Doing a seed round means we can launch and iterate the product at pace as we listen and learn from our customers and continually improve”.
The investment will now be used to make key hires and begin regional rollouts throughout the UK, before scaling up internationally to take advantage of opportunities with overseas partners.
Anna Roberts, who recently took part in M-SParc’s Level Up Accelerator to receive dedicated support for scaling her businesses quicker and more effectively, explained: “It sounds simple, and it is. Explorage.com will offer a frictionless online facility for customers to find, compare and instantly reserve self-storage. It’s a really exciting time and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far.”
Pryderi ap Rhisiart, MD of M-SParc said “Explorage is one of the most exciting digital companies in the country at the moment, showing real signs of growth. It’s businesses like this one that we are here to support and we’re proud to have played a part in the success to date. Explorage have benefitted from a number of our programmes, from talent by way of our Skills Academy, to investment, space and professional development through our events, and crucially they’re collaborating with a number of other businesses in this eco system”
Explorage is now well-placed to realise their vision, with the comfort of knowing that their investors understand the challenge of starting up and scaling a fast growth tech business.
Investor Huw Bishop said: “Being in the position to offer financial backing to local entrepreneurs and business start-ups is hugely rewarding and can be a very tax efficient form of investment. There is definitely a growing network of angel investors in North Wales who are keen to get involved with early-stage investment opportunities.”
Find out more about the M-SParc Angel network here.