Splittable: Nicholas Katz and Vasanth Subramanian
The tech business discusses "burning leather" to find the right investor and why growing its user base is the top priority...
Name: Nicholas Katz and Vasanth Subramanian
Company name: Splittable
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 23 April 2015
Tell us what your business does:
Splittable is the free iPhone and Android app for managing your flat share finances.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
From my personal experience; I’ve lived in and shared nine properties in London and have lost best friends over money issues.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We did a a lot of user research after realising most of my friends, and our team, had the same problem!
What were you doing before starting up?
I was leading Europe for a New York City based proptech start-up called Honest Buildings.
Before that I was in charge of sustainability at a large commercial agent, Colliers International, and prior to that I bought, sold and leased commercial buildings for clients for my first five years in the United States in Washington, D.C.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Absolutely, and I think that’s largely because both of my parents run their own companies.
How did you raise the money?
Burned shoe leather! I pitched to 80 investors before I ended up with our final eight angel investors.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We are not monetising the business yet as our pure focus is growth, and a more delightful product and experience for our users.
Eventually, we will generate revenue from the companies and people that offer services and products through the homepage.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Getting people to buy in before we adequate resources to deserve them! The solution is simple, something my team and I call ‘black magic’: it’s much better to work with people and investors who believe deeply in the vision and mission of the company.
What was your first big breakthrough?
The first breakthrough was separating Splittable into it’s own website, giving it room to breath and seeing how popular it became without us doing any marketing.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Do your user research!! Your business idea isn’t any good until you talk to 100 people who agree.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In a place as a business where we are able to give back to the community, which means we have to make enough profits to be able to share them with our users and also with those less fortunate who need better housing, or even just housing period