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“We believe that everybody should be able to live and work anywhere”, says Arkadi Jampolski, COO and Co-Founder of Wunderflats. His words reflect the passion and purpose that drives him and his team forward.
Wunderflats is revolutionising apartment hunting in Europe. Their online platform seamlessly connects tenants, landlords, and businesses, offering affordable and efficient furnished apartment rentals. Wunderflats prioritises apartments listed for at least a month, making it a preferred choice for foreign professionals and individuals facing housing challenges.
“A defining moment would take you back to 2015 when we had our first booking, which is a unique story”, tells Arkadi with a smile on his face. It was a year of transformation, a shift away from their initial focus on student accommodations to a bold venture into the realm of international professionals, forever altering their trajectory in the housing market.
In a serendipitous twist, two visionary Czech founders from San Francisco were seeking housing in Berlin to embark on the Microsoft Accelerator Program, a tech-powered launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs. At that precise juncture, Wunderflats had apartments sprinkled across South Germany and Spain, but none graced the vibrant streets of Berlin. Ever the enthusiasts for embracing change, Arkadi and Jan swiftly sprang into action. Jan’s Berlin apartment underwent a metamorphosis, emerging as a shining star in Wunderflats’ listings, ready to house the ambitious Czech duo. Jan bunked with Arkadi for three months, a period in which they meticulously devised their new blueprint for catering to their evolving target market.
“That was our first booking from our core target group, and since then, we have been acquiring and growing the apartments for these skilled professionals”. Since that fateful transaction, Wunderflats has continuously amassed a portfolio of apartments catering to skilled professionals. Among their clientele, software developers dominate the scene. The magic ingredient that keeps these discerning renters content is the hassle-free experience offered by Wunderflats. They no longer need to deal with the challenges of online apartment hunting. Instead, while landlords lease their dream spaces with confidence, thanks to Wunderflats’ meticulous verification process and streamlined digital payment system.
In a world rife with online scams, Wunderflats stands as a beacon of trust, firmly committed to dismantling uncertainty and winning hearts one successful rental at a time.
Jan and Arkadi’s core beliefs as the founding team mean it all boils down to prioritisation before capabilities. Many businesses tend to prioritise maximising profit, often by raising prices and cutting costs. This approach can lead to suggestions to further slash expenses, and Arkadi believes this combination can ultimately spell doom for companies. He asserts that the key to staying ahead of the competition begins with setting the right priorities.
In the case of Wunderflats, delivering value is paramount. This means providing value not only to landlords and tenants but also to the team. By following this approach, Arkadi explains, a company can experience dynamic growth and cultivate a loyal customer base. This, in turn, adds value to shareholders by establishing strong relationships and a solid foundation, paving the way for significant financial growth and innovative plans in the future.
Arkadi’s predictions for proptech industry’s evolution over the next few years and how these align Wunderflats’ goals and aspirations are that unlike typical B2C businesses like selling shoes, the real estate customer is fundamentally different. When dealing with real estate, it’s essential to recognise that digitisation in this field won’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of frustration from investors, tech companies, and proptech firms who feel that real estate customers are not adapting quickly enough to digital solutions. However, explains Arkadi, “it’s crucial to understand that digitising the real estate industry is not as simple as pushing a button”. Real estate projects involve enormous capital investments, and any rapid change could have significant financial implications. Real estate businesses typically operate on thin profit margins, and a digitisation project, if not executed correctly, can eat into those margins or even double the cost. Startups, even if they have promising solutions, may not be able to instantly scale to meet the demands of a company with hundreds of thousands of apartments due to the inherent risks.
So, in the coming years, Arkadi sees three key developments:
In summary, the real estate industry is a unique and challenging landscape, and its digitisation will follow its own pace and patterns, ultimately reshaping how businesses operate and interact with customers.
Arkadi’s proptech fundraising wisdom boils down to two key points:
In short, Arkadi’s mantra for fundraising and entrepreneurship is simple: Be unflinchingly courageous and unwaveringly committed to your vision. These traits define the unstoppable entrepreneur.