By Matina Harkoftakis
The recent news that Flyway, Nikos Drandakis’ new business venture, has raised $10 million in funding comes exactly two years after the Beat founder’s decision to step down from the helm of the startup with which he associated the name and career his career for about a decade. Having already chosen to take the next step, in the last 6 months Mr. Drandakis has turned his full attention to carefully “building” Flyway, essentially entering an unknown and highly demanding market for him, that of real estate. He is, however, determined to “do it well” and to “acquire deep knowledge”, which is especially necessary at the beginning, as he characteristically mentions in Capital.gr“several sleepless nights”.
“I’m against startups that celebrate large amounts of funding”
Securing the $10 million funding is the first step in this direction, confirming, at the same time, the confidence shown in the application of co-ownership and second home sharing by major institutional investors as it attracted names such as Signal Ventures, Monday Capital, Group RMC but and angel investors, such as Florian Hagenbuch and the co-founder and CEO of Blueground, Alexandros Hatzielefterou. Flyway is a project that requires significant capital to finance and “run”, which means that a new round of funding may not be long in coming. However, Mr. Drandakis clarifies that “the goal is to find a good balance between how quickly we raise new rounds of funding and how carefully we do it in order to learn and avoid mistakes.” As he points out “raising big capital, that in itself comes with a high responsibility. I’m usually against the idea of startups celebrating raising big because that basically means you’re also taking on a huge amount of responsibility with third-party money , which you will then have to return”.
The possibility of buying up to 6 shares
Flyway currently counts 3 properties in London and is aiming to make its first sales, looking to establish its own position in the property market. Essentially, Flyway offers its customers the possibility to buy a “share” of the residence of their choice, which they will use together with the other owners. “We buy a house, which looks ideal for a second home, and we break the company that owns that property into 12 shares. So if a client of ours buys one of the above shares, they have access to that house for a month, which means that in practice the buyer has a part of the ownership of the residence, which in a second year he can sell on the open market, reaping some profit afterwards”, he explains in Capital.gr Mr. Drandakis adds: “It is a normal house, which is either in an apartment building or a single-family house, which has been furnished by us with modern aesthetics and is in excellent condition.” In addition, Flyway, after the sale of the shares, assumes the role of property manager, being responsible for the maintenance, cleaning and payment of taxes and bills corresponding to the property, which it sends them “broken” by a twelfth to the respective owner, who is called upon to pay the amount attributable to him. If someone now wishes, he can buy up to 6 shares, increasing up to 180 days of stay at his disposal, which he can take intermittently and not continuously throughout the year in consultation, always, with the other owners.
The purchase of 3 houses in Mayfair and City
The Greek startup focuses on the search for homes in major metropolises, which are aimed at customers who are looking for a second home in a city, such as London and Paris, rather than a holiday home in a tourist resort. “At the moment we have acquired 3 properties in London while another 2 are in the process of being added to our platform”, notes Mr. Drandakis and continues saying: “The 2 are located in Mayfair in one of the best areas of London while the third is located in the City, known for its strong economic activity. We plan to add 2 to 3 more properties to the platform before we go to a new round of funding and then look to expand to other cities beyond London. Our target is the major metropolises of the world , which are among the most popular destinations, such as Paris and New York”.
Athens is also in the long-term planning
In the second year, Mr. Drandakis does not rule out expansion in Athens as well as in other regional metropolises. “Any city that can be considered a modern metropolis and is attractive to some people who don’t live in it is a long-term goal for us,” he points out. On the other hand, it should be noted that Flyway derives income from two main sources: One concerns the sale of the shares of the property with a profit margin of 10% to 12% in relation to the purchased price, while the second concerns a a monthly cost of £99 payable by the respective owner, which relates to the management of the residence.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.