Aaron Liskov and Andrew Zahornacky traveled so much for business, they never had time to unpack, that’s why they created Un Pack. It’s a service that delivers a fully packed suitcase to your travel destination. They have winter coats, hats and gloves for folks traveling to chilly destinations that don’t want to pack bulky items. They also have dress shirts, casual wear, even beach wear. Everything is “rented” for the duration of your stay and you return the suitcase full of clothes to your hotel lobby at the end of your stay. Each Un Pack suitcase comes with toiletries too, which you keep.
The service is for people who want convenience when they travel. Aaron and Andrew were road warriors and often ran out of fresh clothes while traveling for business. They envisioned Un Pack as an easy, relatively inexpensive way to take the hassle out of packing for road weary business travelers.
The service is currently only available in New York, but they have plans to expand to other major cities. They pack suitcases for 2-8 days with quality clothing brands. Once returned, they are professionally laundered for the next customer. They likely need a Shark’s help scaling up the business.
My Take on Un Pack
I attend two conferences a year for business. The rest of my travel is purely for pleasure. I certainly don’t travel as much as Aaron and Andrew did, but I have friends who do. I see the value here as convenience and comfort. If I were traveling to New York in the winter from Florida, I’d need to pack a winter coat or buy a cheap one when I arrived to donate to Goodwill on departure. Having a nice Columbia coat waiting in my hotel room would save me both time and money.
Since airlines started getting a bit ridiculous with baggage fees, all sorts of alternative packing options are hitting the market. Un Pack takes things a step further. It would be nice to just pack some underwear and personal items and not have to worry about clothes or toiletries. The one thing that concerns me is the fit of the clothing. If I ordered Un Pack and couldn’t fit into the clothes they provide, it would create more problems than it solves.
I showed Un Pack to a friend of mine who travels extensively. He’s an IT consultant who goes to client sites for 1-2 weeks at a time to implement new software. He loved the idea and he thinks he could expense it. That’s the type of traveler that is Un Pack’s target market: the frequent business traveler more concerned with convenience. Aunt Ethyl isn’t going to order Un Pack for a week’s vacation in Florida.
Do Sharks Unpack a deal?
Un Pack has some serious challenges for a Shark investor. This business is a big logistics play. Coordinating with various hotels in big cities, laundering clothes, and delivering properly sized garments requires some pretty efficient processes. While Aaron and Andrew are up to the task, growing their model is a challenge. The Sharks will question this piece of the business extensively.
Another challenge is getting enough inventory to serve the many different sizes of their travelers/customers. They’ll need a lot of different sizes to service people effectively – not to mention suitcases to put everything in. That requires a LOT of cash to get started.
Educating travelers about their services is yet another challenge. While my IT consultant friend thought the idea was cool, he never heard about it before. They’ll need to spend a lot of time, energy, and money to get their message out to their target market.
These challenges might frighten the Sharks away before they even get in to a discussion about valuation. Un Pack has an uphill climb with the challenges they face and a Shark will want a big piece of the pie to get involved, probably more than what Aaron and Andrew are willing to give up.