Taking Brand Australia Global — Spacer

Published on
November 3, 2022
Peter Brocklebank
Managing Director, Partner
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With every blossoming economy comes the dilemma of not having enough space. As urbanisation, population growth, and smaller living areas rise, so does the need for additional parking, storage, and commercial real estate.

Spacer sought to address all of these in one fell swoop by linking Hosts with Renters — becoming Australia’s leading peer-to-peer and business-to-consumer marketplace for affordable, convenient, and secure space solutions.

Being a reliable marketplace for space since 2015, Spacer provides affordable solutions to increasingly popular, space-scarce cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

In March 2017, Spacer announced the acquisition of US-based space-sharing company, Roost, as part of its globalisation strategy to tap into a $27 billion U.S. market. The purchase is inclusive of all intellectual property, such as database, tech platform, staff, and all of Roost’s existing customers and partners — a significant milestone for the Aussie brand.

Adopting its Australian learnings and translating them into the world’s largest consumer market is no easy feat. Yet, Spacer continues to soar.

In this fourth instalment of our Taking brand Australia Global” series, we explore the one crucial, uniquely Australian aspect of Spacer’s business model that allowed it to grow exponentially — a savviness for leveraging the next best thing.

Australia’s Penchant for Novelty Leveraged into a Benefit for the Entire Sharing Economy

Australians have a reputation for being patrons of all things fun, innovative, and exciting. Their culture gives way to a society that not only embraces trends but also sparks them.

In 2014, Melbourne-based fintech provider, AfterPay, pioneered the digital “buy now, pay later” payment scheme industry. In 2013, Australian public relations executive Kristy Chong launched the original high-tech, leak- and period-proof underwear and apparel brand, ModiBodi — leading the way for the global no-waste period movement.

While Spacer did not exactly start the peer-to-peer storage industry, it certainly took the necessary steps to revolutionise the entire face of self-storage and real estate by allowing its space-rich users to monetise unused storage, parking, or warehouse spaces, while simultaneously offering space-deprived users secured places to keep their valuables.

No Rest for the Brilliant

With Australia’s biggest cities quickly running out of space, rather than fight the tide, Spacer founders Mike Rosenbaum and Roland Tam jumped on the opportunity.

In true Aussie fashion, Spacer’s business plan was sparked over coffee after Rosenbaum realised the popularity of peer-to-peer space-sharing ventures in the U.S. The idea was finalised over a couple of beers and eventually came to fruition after many late hours of development and hard work.

Today, the company experiences over 30% month on month domestic growth since launching in October 2015 thanks to marketing tactics that centre on building brand acceptance within target markets. Once things took a significant turn for the absolute best, Spacer then set its sights on acquiring U.S. titan Roost and then its Melbourne-based competitor, Parkhound.

What’s Next?

Spacer continues to build on its local operations while furthering global expansion in the U.S., Asian, and European markets. Strategic partnerships have enabled Spacer to take advantage of shared learnings, networks, resources, and platform synergies to tackle challenges along the way — conscious of the fact that its business model is about heavily promoting its value proposition locally first and then scaling slowly on a larger basis.

With time, Spacer is hopeful to build more and more communities that will span across the globe.

Our Main Takeaway?

Spacer is all about building slow and hard. Many markets all over the world share Aussie’s fascination with all things new — especially when said things promise a convenient and affordable way to tackle an existing problem.

By learning how to strategically position its value proposition across numerous cities in Australia and then countries like the U.S., Spacer effectively presses on these markets’ pain points and presents itself as the be-all and end-all or peer-to-peer space-sharing.

This article is the fourth instalment to our “Taking Brand Australia Global” series. Keep posted next time as we explore how other renowned Australian scale-ups like BlueShyft, ModiBodi, Archie Rose, and HIVERY set themselves up for global success.