Tenant, Inc. Raises $25M, Brings on 2 New Strategic Investors

Posted by Admin on Aug 11, 2023 12:00:00 AM

Tenant, Inc. shows no signs of slowing down. The company, which offers a vertical SaaS technology platform providing a complete ecosystem tailored to the self storage industry, just announced it has closed its third seed funding round with $25 million. This will be used to support its rapid growth and market penetration, from its recent acquisition of Storelocal, the largest private membership community of independent self-storage operators, to other new endeavors.

MSM spoke with Lance Watkins, Tenant, Inc.’s CEO to hear more about some of the company’s latest projects and newest investors. “We’re currently onboarding Derrel’s Mini Storage. With a 14 million square foot portfolio consisting of 63 locations, it’s a big project with 1,450 average tenants per location.”

A California Institution

Watkins says that Derrel’s is a truly unique operation and many are surprised to learn just how large it is. The first Derrel’s location in California was built in 1963 and it has grown from there. “The name Derrel’s has really become a recognizable brand, one of the few private storage chains that can say that,” explains Watkins. “They’re like a Manhattan Mini for the central valley of California.” 

Continues Watkins, “When they open a new facility, there are actual lines. It’s like the release of a new iPhone.” 

Watkins also said that because of the brand’s popularity and commitment to customer care, the properties lease up in record time. “They’ve been known to lease up a large facility in three months.”

“Derrel’s has 85K+ customers, and what’s unique about them is that the average length of stay is 7 years, compared to the industry average of 20 months.”

Watkins says Derrel’s is one of the most vertically integrated storage companies in the world, and have always built their own gates, partitions, and doors. While Derrel’s used to build their own software, he says the system had “timed out” and that’s when they turned to Tenant, Inc. for an overhaul. 

The Land Down Under

Another strategic investor joining the Tenant, Inc. family is Kennard’s Self Storage in Australia. This self storage operation from down under is the largest private self storage operator in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world outside the United States, with 104 large locations.

Watkins says that Sam Kennard basically birthed the concept of self storage in Australia as it was a foreign concept. “It was up to him and his team to train the public on what self storage is, how it works, and so on.”

“This deal is different from other transactions as it’s a fairly heavy lift from a tech perspective to do operations overseas for a sophisticated, unique operator. Lots of localization required for Australia. Tenant sees the opportunity as an advantage to enter commonwealth countries,” says Watkins, while noting that Kennard’s is very progressive and has significant staff on-hand to handle technology tasks.

Watkins says Kennard’s team will be visiting next month, and he looks forward to working with the Kennard family. 

“We now have over 100 strategic investors in the United States and internationally, most of which are self storage facility owners like Derrel’s or Kennard’s who are actively utilizing our products or onboarding,” said Watkins. “These investors initially saw the need for a product that would streamline storage facility operations and provide a better tenant experience. Now, those same investors are not only using our products, they are continuing to invest in both our future and theirs.”