UK / Greece: London- and Athens-based proptech startup Flyway has announced that it has raised $10 million in seed and debt funding for its fully-managed second home co-ownership model.
Signal Ventures, Monday Capital and GroupRMC participated in the round, along with a number of notable angle investors, including Loft founder Florian Hagenbuch and Blueground co-founder and CEO, Alex Chatzieleftheriou.
Flyway expects to use the funds to acquire and sell its first properties in London.
By targeting the international second home market in large cities, known as pied-à-terre, the startup wants to offer an affordable alternative to hotels, home rentals and home buying by creating a marketplace that makes buying and selling shares of second homes as easy and seamless as possible. Flyway also provides proprietary planning technology and professional property management, including cleaning, repairs and maintenance.
Co-founder and CEO, Nikos Drandakis, told The Recursive: “This raise will help us make the first critical step toward our vision to democratise access to second homes in cities all over the world. We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to help people live in different cities while retaining the value of their investment and, at the same time, get access to a lifestyle that only the ultra-wealthy people had so far.
“Our top priority is to offer an unparalleled experience to the first customers that will buy shares in our homes, such that will create the basis for word-of-mouth dynamics and customer testimonials. In parallel, we are further building our operations machine that provides our customers with a seamless experience from the sale to the stay in their Flyway home,” he added.
Second home buyers can choose from available listings on the Flyway platform and make their selections according to their location and home type preferences and budget constraints.
Each home is converted into a property-specific LTD [limited liability company] with 12 shares. Buyers opt for the share of the property they want according to how long they want to stay in it over the course of a year, while Flyway can sell the remaining shares to vetted buyers.
Once they have bought their share, owners can use the Flyway app to reserve their stays, monitor their second home’s expenses with other co-owners, discuss issues with their designated ‘home manager’ and unlock the property through their phone.
Buyers pay a monthly fee to Flyway to handle aspects of the property management, including maintenance, repairs, upgrades, cleaning and enhancing the technology that powers the second home co-ownership model.
Drandakis sees the startup’s business model as one that can ultimately contribute to solving the housing crisis, particularly in a city such as London where some second homes are left empty for 80 or 90 per cent of the time.