smallbusiness.co.uk: Helping your business think big

Email a Friend

Hot property

Nitzan Yudan began work on property rental website Flat-Club two years ago and is set for a turnover of £1.2 million in his first year of trading.

Nitzan Yudan began work on property rental website Flat-Club two years ago and is set for a turnover of £1.2 million in his first year of trading.

What is the big idea?

There has been a boom in new ventures that create a market for social travel and places to stay – a spare room, a house when the owners are on holiday or even a tent in the desert. Flat-Club allows private hosts to post their properties to selected members of their social networks in a win-win situation for all – guests are saving up to 80 per cent on hotel prices and hosts are generating extra income from lodgers they can trust. And I take a commission.

How does the site interact with social media?

We recently launched an application whereby, if permissions are in place, the site can tap into a user’s Facebook account and identify information such as which networks the user belongs to, eg London Business School, professional networks, etc. This is beneficial for both hosts and guests – for hosts because they can research potential guests before agreeing to let their place; for guests this application allows them to increase access to the flats they can view, as when hosts post flats they can specify which users can view the posting ie members of the London Business School network or of the Harvard Business Network, etc.

How was Flat-Club financed?

We raised seed financing 18 months ago, and again a few weeks ago. The latest seed funds will be used to support the company’s growth in the next six months. We also plan to do a VC round of £1.5 million in the next few months. We are already in talks with a few funds, and as the company is successfully hitting its targets, we hope to complete this VC round soon.

How was it marketed?

We have relied on social media and word of mouth. In terms of offline activities, Flat-Club has campus managers in each business school where the website has been launched. These are people who help the company spread the word through emails, leaflets, sponsorships to events, etc. The company also offers special promotions to loyal customers such as free tickets to events, such as the Champions League semi-final.

What next?

Next up is to roll out the concept to other cities. Currently London is our main hub, but we want to expand to Europe, as well as the US.

See also: Making the right property decisions

Related topics: Flat-Club, Nitzan Yudan

Previous article

Playing the game

Next article

A snack on track

Post a comment

Related

News | Management

Property guide opens doors for small businesses

News | Management

Guide to renting property

News | Law

Protect your intellectual property

News | Law

Intellectual property aid for Welsh SMEs

Small Business Offers

More from Small Business

Financing a Business
How small businesses can manage their annual return 

How small businesses can manage their annual return 

Here, Henry Catchpole gives some top tips on keeping your records management simple and getting...  

Running a Business
The top ten legal pitfalls of starting up

The top ten legal pitfalls of starting up

Here, law firm Brecher looks at the mistakes entrepreneurs typically make at the start of...  

News
Majority of small companies do not last beyond five years 

Majority of small companies do not last beyond five years 

Business survival rates have fallen significantly since the financial crisis, research finds. ...  

Blog
Why starting a business from your bedroom beats Silicon Roundabout

Why starting a business from your bedroom beats Silicon Roundabout

Here, Irfon Watkins argues against the trend to centralise start-up activity in certain locations. ...