Flatfish aims to streamline communication between tenant, landlord and tradesperson. It’s rental maintenance made easy.
Idealog: So what was the idea behind Flatfish?
Tal Meser, co-founder & CEO (centre): We went out to the market and tried to understand what problems were out there. Initially we had the idea for helping tenants find good quality flats, but we found out that there was a bigger problem: getting things fixed. So we pivoted to helping organise maintenance on rentals.
I had experienced the problem myself. A few years ago I was renting with some mates and we had a leak in our ceiling and that ended up turning into a big hole in the roof that cost the landlord a lot of money. Throughout the whole thing, communication was a big problem. Organising the tradesperson, finding good quality tradespeople that would fix the problem and leave the place in a good state, and also having the landlord be transparent in communication with us was a challenge. So we went out and really tried to explore that more. Your pitch was really good at the demo day. How much time and effort goes into getting that crucial five minutes together? We start pitching really early on, beginning with elevator pitches and expanding that over the following weeks. We’ve pitched to a lot of different groups and that really gets you comfortable with the whole process.
We had quite a radical change in our pitch really late on – because of our pivot – but we'd been pitching so constantly that we were able to change direction with just a week to go because we were so practiced. It was actually easy to go live with the change quickly. Being able to change direction like that and still feel comfortable doing it was the really big win for us. So what’s investor interest been like? Really great. We’ve nearly finished off our round fully committed, so we're just getting to the point where we're nearly oversubscribed. We’ve got a good range of investors from all over New Zealand. If anyone else is interested in having a chat to us that's always exciting.
That’s another thing about the programme. It’s really helped us in terms of structure, the pitching and actually having the follow-up to get to this stage. It’s been amazing having that support. That’s a really key value we’ve gotten out of this programme.