Idealog - - IDEALOG / KIWIBANK - flatfish.co.nz

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.

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