Start-ups incubated at LBS build momentum

Two ventures from the latest entrepreneurial cohort are gaining traction

Companies that have graduated from London Business School’s (LBS) Incubator programme, which offers entrepreneurs year-long support, are gearing up for success.

Pass the Keys, a fast-growing tech start-up that manages short-let properties, secured its second round of funding from private venture firm, Talis Capital. The company is already the largest Airbnb property manager in the UK, serving eight cities. 

LBS graduates Alexander Lyakhotskiy and Zoe Vu joined the Incubator in 2016 during their venture’s second year of operation and have spent that time developing advanced technology to improve efficiency and create a better customer experience. 

Lyakhotskiy, CEO of Pass the Keys, said: “Since joining the Incubator, we’ve worked with a mentor and accessed hundreds of advisors including the angel network E100. Being part of the programme has given us a massive confidence boost.

“We’ve already celebrated several milestones, including two rounds of funding and expansion into seven cities. We’re confident about the future of the sharing economy worldwide and look forward to being part of it.”

The latest funding is helping the pioneering duo improve the hassle-free service and meet their ambitious growth plans. Vu, Head of Growth, said: “By the end of 2017, we aim to offer our service in all major cities in the UK and start our global expansion from 2018.”

This month also marks the pilot launch of Savewallets, a shrewd saving and investment platform founded by LBS graduate and Incubator member Sreejita Saha.

The venture aims to make saving a habit using the power of behavioural science. 

Saha was inspired by her parents, who diligently saved to help fund her education. She said: “If savings without any investment or professional advice can have such an impact, imagine what can be achieved when people invest efficiently.

“Savers can access their funds at any time, in any place. The platform is also free to use so there’s really no excuse not to save.”

Running a pilot is critical, said Pass the Keys’ founders Lyakhotskiy and Vu. Their advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to “just do it”. “If you have a business idea, discuss it and gain feedback early on. Our proposition is stronger because of the valuable feedback we’ve received as part of our journey at LBS.”