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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

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