ACE is Proud to Celebrate the First Anniversary of its Investment in Storefriendly Singapore

March 4, 2020


ACE is proud to celebrate the first anniversary of its investment in Storefriendly Singapore. The investment into the largest Asian self storage operator has allowed the Company to expand beyond the landmark Storefriendly Centre to eight other locations in Singapore, further penetrating the underserved self-storage market in Asia.

 

Established in 2002, Storefriendly is one of the most recognized brands in the self storage space, with over 130 branches and 40,000 self storage units across Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Shanghai, and Taiwan. Having expanded through a successful model by combining asset acquisitions and franchising, the Company has demonstrated a strong and consistent track record of space management, value creation and asset management. Together with ACE’s expertise in private equity and its extensive network in Asia, the investment represents a close partnership that could provide long-term benefits to both Storefriendly and ACE.

 

Self storage has been a successful business in the US and Europe for the past two decades, with attractive cash flow dynamics as customers pay for leases upfront and often stick with their contracts. Furthermore, operating costs and capital expenditure are minimal which results in high operating margins and cash yields. Although Asia is still lacking behind developed markets, the region presents the ideal demographics for exponential growth. In particular, business hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore have high population density but the smallest home sizes in Asia with averages of 640 sqft and 730 sqft, respectively. Over 75% residential units do not have storage space. Supply is fragmented with numerous standalone facilities that are run by “mom-and-pop” operators with variable service standards. This presents tremendous opportunity for professional operators like Storefriendly to build a sizeable platform leveraging its operational know-how and strong track record.

 

Since ACE’s investment, Storefriendly has pioneered the industry leading self-storage experience “StorefriendlyGO”, powered by pallet-like robots that retrieve cabinet-style units on command and deliver directly to visiting customers via their mobile devices. The robot-enabled units are kept in an air-conditioned, no-man zones which maximize floor efficiencies. Such setup provides customers with a safer, faster and modern storage solution. Moreover, the Company now also offers flexible office spaces and storage solutions tailored for business users under the “Workfriendly” brand. ACE believes its partnership with Storefriendly will allow it to create a unique, sizeable platform to capture an industry that is only going to keep growing, underpinned by the population density, sky-high property price, small living spaces and a significant white space.

“Storefriendly is leading the industry with an impressive track record and is constantly reinventing itself with cutting-edge technology. We are excited to join hands to create Asia’s largest self storage platform and support their goal of improving the living and working environments in Asia”

Arthur Law, Portfolio Manager at ACE & Company

 

The Storefriendly Singapore transaction was led by Arthur Law and Derrick Luo at ACE & Company.