OVH is supporting OUISTOCK
With Ouistock, sharing economy meets furniture storage
An interview with Michiel Missotten, Technical Manager at Ouistock.
On the one hand, the growing price of real estate is forcing owners to optimize space they're not occupying. On the other hand, prices for traditional storage units are high: "For example, 1 sq. ft. of storage space in the suburbs costs twice as much as one inhabitable sq. ft. downtown!"
The platform developed by Ouistock back in 2014 can be used to connect people who own some unused space (basement, attic, garage, empty room, etc.) with those who need to store stuff. "A simple idea that fits perfectly into the shifting nature of sharing economy. We help individuals to help each another, directly and locally, and it's a win-win situation for both parties."
Ever since a partnership was forged with SwissLife who's providing insurance for the stored goods, the number of people using the service has been constantly growing. About 1,000 people are using the website every day, looking for a space close to where they live. "How practical is it to store your things somewhere on your street or at a neighbour's house? In large cities, there's a storage space available every 300 feet, thanks to Ouistock!" And if for some reason the ideal storage space is located a little too far, the user can get a discount on the rental of a utility vehicle.
Today, more than 17,660,000 cubic ft. are readily available on the ouistock.fr website, "which puts us ahead of the regular competitors in the traditional self-storage business." The 4,000 registered owners, spread across 1,500 French cities, earn 135 USD a month on average.
Ouistock raised about 685,000 USD back in 2015 in order to support its extremely rapid growth. Their strategic lines of investment were focused primarily on employee recruitment, marketing, and of course the connection platform itself.
"We've built a scalable infrastructure using the Docker technology and hosted on Public Cloud. The application, which was mainly written in PHP, also uses MongoDB, Redis and MySQL databases, as well as RabbitMQ 9 (message queue). Our development tools (Docker Registry, Chronos, etc.), our CRM and our blogs are being hosted on 8 VPSs provided by OVH.com. And finally, our continuous integration system is also located in the Cloud. Our next challenge lies in developing a central REST API, which will be receiving requests from both the web platform and our in-house applications.
Ouistock is a member of several support programmes for startups and sees them as a way to test different services on the market.
"We are at the beginning of the adventure. Even though we have limited means, this is the time to make the right choices in technology. OVH's Digital Launch Pad allows us to test services that fit our needs, at no cost and without having to make a commitment"
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