Flatora, a Russia-based marketplace for short-term holiday rentals, is calling it a day, posting a work suspended notice on its website.
Alexander Gorelik, chief product officer for the startup, feels the company should have concentrated on a fast launch even with "raw" product, allowing it to test the product and business model, get feedback and develop according to market demands.
He adds that for various reasons too much time was spent structuring the company and its assets and it worked on the basis of monthly chunks of investment instead of longer tranches.
"If we got tranches that were enough for us to work for longer periods of time, we would have had time to find additional investments and as a result to survive."
Still on the investment side, Gorelik feels that Flatora should have continued to explore for future potential investment opportunities despite the fact that it had financial commitment which then dried up.
He and the rest of the Flatora team are seeking new positions but Gorelik maintains there is huge potential in the accommodation rental space in Russia.
"If we don't have some global crisis that is predicted by many, then the market will be very hot two years from now. Each market will have only one company as a market leader with about 80 % of the local market. In Russia such company would definitely be local.
"My opinion, which has only become stronger and been reinforced by numerous facts during this year of work at Flatora, is that leadership can be gained by aggressive and wide-ranging marketing activities to reach clients with the word about short-term rental opportunities. The one who is first, most likely, will be the leader as well."
What's interesting about Flatora shutting down is that challenges it cited in this article such as consumer distrust and establishing B2B relationships did not seem ultimately to contribute to its demise.