Innovative moving and storage solutions startup, Stackt, co-founded by a UCL alumnus, has raised more than £1m for the advancement of its digital business.
Rashid Aliyev and his co-founder Danil Gontovnik set up Stackt in 2021 during lockdown and were part of the Hatchery incubator programme at BaseKX, UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross.
Stackt is an online platform that digitises the entire moving and storage process by allowing customers to find vetted movers, and send and retrieve items easily to and from their storage facility. Since launching the business, which aims to make the moving process stress-free and low-cost, Stackt has received nearly 6,000 orders.
In a recent round of investment, Stackt secured funding from a range of new and existing investors including ZAKA VC, Metropolis Ventures, StartupGym, Syndicate Room and Blue Lake VC.
While the business has firmly found its feet within the UK market, it will now be using the £1 million investment to expand into Europe and the US.
Rashid, who graduated from the UCL School of Management with a degree in Information Management for Business in 2019, said: "This funding will enable us to grow our team, invest in our technology, and make sure we’re building a really cool and interesting product that will help hundreds of thousands more people move and store their items more easily. We’re excited to continue making a positive impact on the student community and beyond."
Globally, almost 50% of young people move home each year, and 25% will move as many as ten times in their lifetime. Moving and storing items can also pose problems for students living in rented accommodation.
Rashid added: "We realised that the world of moving and storage hadn’t really changed in the last 100 years. Most companies are still doing things the old way - no technology, just manual labour, making it pricey and not very user-friendly.
"Our technology-driven approach simplifies and reduces the cost of moving and storing belongings, a common challenge for students moving between accommodations or travelling during academic breaks.
"The housing market situation and rising rent costs are unfortunately pushing people to live in smaller and cheaper spaces, but you can make it more spacious if you can store your belongings in your ’physical cloud’ and get them shipped back to you on demand when needed."
At the Hatchery, entrepreneurs receive dedicated support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise to help their businesses grow. Rashid and his team also took part in London Demo Day in September, an annual event which provides a platform for leading student startups from UCL, King’s College London, Imperial College London and LSE to pitch to international investors.
Rashid said: "UCL has been hugely supportive in what we’re doing, helping me secure a Startup and then an Innovator Visa, which I needed to run the business as a non-UK resident. We’ve had so much help from our business advisor at the Hatchery and in workshops, and it’s inspiring to be amongst other startups facing similar challenges.
"London Demo Day got our name and mission in front of over 400 people and opened up some interesting conversations which have indirectly affected the round closure. The more people who know about you and your business the better when it comes to finding investors."
Stackt has seen huge demand for its products in its first two years and has seen year-on-year growth of 456%.
Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Vice-Provost, Research, Innovation and Global Engagement) said: "Congratulations to Stackt on this significant investment and achievement. Rashid and the team are a fantastic example of what can be achieved as part of UCL’s entrepreneurial community. Their solutions are helping to revolutionise an industry and make life easier for thousands of people living in rented accommodation. A huge well done to the Stackt team and the UCL startup experts who’ve supported them."
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