Need a £1m investment? Speak to customers first

The UJIA panel: Butt, Watt and Yudan (Photo: Yakir Zur)

The UJIA panel: Butt, Watt and Yudan (Photo: Yakir Zur)

An Israeli entrepreneur has secured over £1 million from private investors for his award-winning UK-based property company.

Nitzan Yudan, founder of Flat-Club, which helps young professionals find short-term accommodation by renting through their trusted social networks, says the funding will boost the company’s global presence.

“It’s a great milestone,” said Mr Yudan, who also received £25,000 as winner of the JC’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Challenge this year. “We now have 10,000 properties on our website but we’re hoping to take that figure to 30,000 by the end of next year — from across Europe to the Dominican Republic.”

Mr Yudan shared his secrets to start-up success at a Young UJIA property fundraising dinner last month.

Speaking on a panel — with Faisal Butt, the co-founder of Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate, and Alec Watt, managing director of Accouter Design — he advised aspiring young entrepreneurs to “ask your potential customers what they want, before you start your business”.

Mr Yudan told the 200 guests: “You need to test your business idea. Put together a minimum product, get feedback from people, see if they use it like you thought they would.”

Mr Watt stressed the value of social media in marketing a business.

Ray Bloom, co-chair of the Young UJIA Property committee, said: “It’s been fantastic. We got the inside story on how some hugely successful businesses models can be replicated by others.”

The central London event raised more than £25,000 for the UJIA, which funds UK tours to Israel and improves training opportunities for Israelis.

Last updated: 12:08pm, December 16 2013