Binsto was founded by two long time friends who have founded multiple technology companies in the past. This time the dynamic duo are on a mission to improve the highly fragmented self-storage industry and the business model that has remained largely unchanged since the early 1970’s
Binsto co-founders Mike Vien and Chris Williams have always shared a passion for both technology and real estate. Together, they have founded numerous technology companies as well as a real estate investment firm focused on self storage properties in the greater Boston Area.
In 2016, Mike recruits Chris to develop a group photo-sharing app designed for users to capture and share their moments together. The company is called Poppo.
The two worked feverishly for about a year on the start-up. Although the product was different than anything on the market it never fully took off. One important observation the two discovered was that the majority of activity on Poppo wasn’t about people cataloguing their moments, but cataloguing their stuff.
During this timeframe, the two spent their spare time looking for real estate opportunities to invest in together. Mike had made offers on a couple local area self-storage facilities. While, Chris who owns and manages several multi-family apartment units, had been considering investing in self-storage opportunities, especially since the number one question from his existing and prospective tenants was, “is there storage available?”.
Simultaneously, Mike was in the middle of selling his current home, moving his family into a house rental, and eventually into a new home. Mike mentioned to Chris how much of a pain it was to rent a self-storage unit for his family's belongings while he moved his family between homes. Mike had recalled a story that Chris shared with him about how he had built an elaborate system for managing his own move and several years before smartphones were available. Right then, the idea for Binsto was born.
The two set off to build a mobile version of Chris’ personal inventory management system. The platform would provide an easier way for people to manage their personal belongings and an easier way for self-storage owners to manage their inventory and promote their units online.
They knew Binsto could have a big impact on the industry if they could improve the model for the consumer and by enabling the way self-storage owners and property managers managed their available storage capacity. They had worked on Poppo for so long, this time they just wanted to get it out and get it into users’ hands.
Vien and Williams worked doggedly, cutting code and refining the visual design, remaining focused on the core idea of making organizing your stuff simple and easy. They revamped the product and stripped away all features except the ability for users to capture and take a virtual, visual inventory of their personal belongings.
In 12 weeks, from start to finish, the iOS version of product was built and released on the Apple App Store.
The project is underway! Stay tuned…