- On January 5, 2017
- digital startups, flatmates, Flatninja, how to start a startup, roommates, start it@kbc, startup community, startup companies, startup programmes, Telenet Kickstart
How Flatninja’s doing? The flatmates platform is cobra-kicking ass!
Co-housing is huge these days. But when Vadim Popowksy was looking for someone to share his flat with, he soon ran into the limits of existing apps and platforms. They were not exactly cheap, nor social, lacking valuable features like “mutual friends” lists. Together with his roomie (who else?), Dennis De Reyer, Vadim came up with an idea for a Tinder-like platform that would make it fun to find the perfect flatmate. Being selected for Telenet Kickstart in 2015, the duo really got to work on their idea: Flatninja was born. If you take a peek at their website nowadays, exotic locations like Madrid and Milan immediately catch the eye. Curious to hear how Flatninja is doing? We thought so!
Telenet Kickstart: second time right
Vadim and Dennis were already thinking about Flatninja back in 2014, but they missed that year’s Kickstart deadline by the proverbial hair’s breadth. However, they kept the faith and applied again a year later – with success. Vadim: “Before we entered the competition, our Flatninja-time was limited to evenings and weekends. Telenet Kickstart got us going: suddenly we were able to devote our full attention to the platform; we met interesting people who put us on the right track; and we learned a lot about lean development, the importance of testing and starting small.”
“For instance, we initially had this huge platform in mind that would cater to both the people who were looking for a room and those who had one to spare. However, we soon realized that we’d better tackle one part at the time and do it really, really thoroughly.”
First we take Italy, then we take France
Since Telenet Kickstart, a lot has changed for Flatninja. In February 2016, Vadim and co decided to bring together all the free rooms offered via Facebook, creating a giant but superefficient database for Belgium. “Italy, France and Spain soon followed. It was an instant hit, with peaks of 10.000 visitors per month.”
“While our first release was meant to service those looking for a room, we also wanted to cater to those who had one on offer. Our second release saw to that: we expanded our existing platform so users could add their own rooms, like other rooms and chat about them. Now some hundred people are browsing the platform each day in every city we’ve included.”
Future plans: true ninjas never rest
Vadim and Dennis are planning to take even more cities and build a mobile application with notifications – the whole shebang. So if you are looking for a place to stay or have one on offer: why not join the country’s largest flatmate platform yourself? Note that we collect no less than 4.000 rooms per month on Flatninja … Let the numbers convince you!
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