Charlie Pool is the CEO of Stowga - but he’s also the numbers man. His experience is in finance and while Stowga has grown, he has maintained control of the finance function.
The ten person startup is a marketplace for buying and selling warehousing and logistics. The company works with businesses like ASDA to monetise the empty capacity in their warehouse portfolio. It connects people that temporarily need space with others who’ve got some room spare.
It’s an unique field to be in. And it’s reflected by Pool’s rather boutique key KPI: search to sale conversion. “Our platform is essentially a big database of warehouses and our goal is to be the go-to destination for anyone searching for a warehouse globally.
“We need to have the biggest number of warehouses signed up as suppliers and then capture the biggest number of online searches on the demand side. Stowga makes money through a commission fee for connecting supply and demand - so what we optimise around is increasing the conversion rate from search to sale.
“We operate in a very niche space where tech meets logistics and real estate and within that we focus entirely on the matchmaking part of connecting a buyer and a seller. Once the two are connected then that’s it for us, we do not get involved in anything to do with once the customer moves in to the warehouse.”
Pool monitors this search to sale ratio incessantly through the Stowga app, which is linked to an analytics visualisation tool called Geckoboard. While Pool is continuously looking to improve it, the ratio remains rather low.
“What that tells us is that there is a lot of movement of goods, yet extreme inertia to committing to decisions. We see small, young companies convert successfully (and very quickly) compared with old established ones.”