In 2011, Fabian Dudek moved from Germany to start at the Erasmus University, but couldn’t find a place to live. From there came the idea for his company, Nestpick, which helps people find an apartment online.
“We really want to be the Uber of the property rental market. We believe that the entire process of offering and finding a new home can take place completely online, without the need of expensive rental agencies, notes in supermarkets, and by word-of-mouth contacts."
“When I was seventeen, I started my bachelor’s degree programme here at Erasmus University, so I had to find a place to live in Rotterdam. That proved really difficult, as I had to arrange it from abroad. So, for the first few weeks I lived in a hostel. At that moment I decided that solving this problem would be a good way to earn money.”
"I started to apply what I was learning. This ranged from accounting, to the course in Behavioural Economics, which got me thinking about the people who rented either through us or those using Kamernet.”
“After two years, I had a pretty successful business running, with five employees, but I wasn’t really proud of it: we were really just a broker who charged a fee of five hundred euro. The big change happened when we went fully online, including all our communication and documentation; we then only had to charge 25 percent of the first month's rent.”
“Late last year, Nestpick received a capital injection of $11 million, from Rocket Internet – an early investor in, amongst others, Hello Fresh and Zalando. We now have seventy employees, two hundred freelance photographers, and bring tenants and landlords together in nine different countries. But we’re not yet the standard for anyone looking for a home. So, we’ve still got work to do.”
TEXT Dennis Mijnheer studied Business management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). He graduated in 2003