Bagsaway is a Canadian startup based in Toronto that offers on-demand luggage storage for travelers all over the world through their online booking platform. Think of BagsAway as an AirBnB for your luggage, so that whether you have a late checkin or early checkout, you’ll never have to be tied down by your luggage. The idea for BagsAway came from our co-founders’ love of travel and the difficulties they experienced missing out on opportunities for adventure while having to babysit their luggage.
Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
BagsAway was started by friends Eugene Veeden and Irina Zusman. Eugene was a software engineer who loved to travel and saw an opportunity in a problem anyone could see upon arrival to destinations across the world – why were all these people lugging bags around?! Irina’s has been heavily active in the startup community since graduating from college, working as a Manager of Operation and Product Development for Touch Taxi Media and acting as a marketing executive for Locomobi and the “Have a Heart for Down Syndrome” Foundation.
How are you being financed?
So far, BagsAway has been bootstrapped, but is proud to be a member of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, the top business incubator in Canada.
What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
The biggest obstacle for BagsAway is letting people know we’re here! Many travelers don’t know that this service even exists and feel relegated to lugging their suitcases around town with them before checkins or late departing flights. Once people know we exist and have the chance to experience the freedom and security of leaving your baggage with one of our storage partners, they’ll never travel without booking luggage storage again!
How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
With Eugene’s background in software engineering, he is the primary developer for the site, but we also work with an agency that helps advise us on technical SEO, design, user experience, and other elements of our website.
Who is your biggest competition?
Our biggest competition greatly depends on where travelers are headed. There are smaller companies that cater only to specific locations, and there are larger companies that have widespread reach in a handful of locations. The goal for BagsAway, however is to be a global solution so that no matter where travelers go, they have a company they can trust to safely and securely store their luggage – and help local small businesses along the way.
How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
Right now, we’re focused on improving our website, growing our number of partner locations to include top destinations on all the major continents, and providing excellent service to our customers. Shoring up each of these elements of our business while simultaneously spreading the word about our service will help us achieve our revenue goals. With travel still being restricted in many areas of the world, we’ve had a great opportunity to take a step back and start looking at the changes that we want to make for greater success in the future.
What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
Our biggest lesson came very early – and maybe a touch harshly. In order to succeed, you have to be able to scale and adapt at a rapid pace. BagsAway actually started out as an on-demand pickup and delivery service for travelers. But we quickly realized that this model would be incredibly difficult to scale to areas outside of our local region. With all our investments tied up in this venture we had to quickly figure out how to make the idea work while completely rethinking our business model. Although it was tough to make major changes so quickly, it taught us to always keep listening to our customers in order to continuously improve our offerings. And that is a lesson that has paid for itself 10x over.