Rocket Internet participated in Nestpick, the rental booking platform, founded by “student entrepreneur of the year” Fabian Dudek (22). Nestpick, which launched in the Netherlands earlier this year moved in by Rocket Internet in Berlin and aims to “revolutionize the rental market for a new generation”. They just announced expanding into the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
Founded in Rotterdam, it all started when Fabian came to the Erasmus University for his international studies and almost ended up homeless. It was hard to find his way through listings that have not been updated in years and scammers, that took advantage of the inferior position international students found themselves in. Here is where the idea for Nestpick was first born.
Fabian joined Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurships (ECE) Get Started Programme; a programme which provided him the tools and coaching that allowed him to quickly test and develop his new business idea. He transformed a business idea into a validated business model, and eventually a startup company. After pitches at the ECE he finally met his first investors and started to grow.
Airbnb for long-term renting
Nestpick targets a young market, aiming to snap up business from international students looking for long-term lets in the cities where they’re studying. It matches landlords with rooms to rent with tenants. Nestpick handles communications with tenants for landlords, undertakes security checks and holds security deposits.
While Airbnb and others have the short-term market well covered, Nestpick wants to become the first choice for people trying to find accommodation in a place where they’ve moved for the first time.
Earlier this year, Rocket Internet’s CEO promised to produce 10 more startups each year, starting in 2015. And it looks like it’s striving to finish 2014 the way it plans to tackle the new year. After a spate of launches across the continent over the past few months, Rocket Internet is rolling out its latest startup, Nestpick, in four European countries, after the “groundbreaking success” of the launch in the Netherlands.
The company’s targeting the UK, France, Italy and Spain because those countries have a particularly high concentration of international students
Rocket Internet has a track record in replicating the success of companies from key markets in new countries with as most famous example Zalando as a copy from Zappos.com. Other examples are cleaning service, Homejoy.com look-a-like, Helpling which just raised $17 million, while its Lazada Amazon clone snapped up a staggering $250 million.
Fabian is aiming for the same path and at least has a good foundation for it back in Rotterdam.