Dolapo Adebayo and Akintola Adesanmi are co-founders of Spleet. Dolapo bagged an LLB degree from the University of Bedfordshire, in the U.K. after which he worked as a Marketing Director at Trevor. He left Trevor to become a manager at Srata Plus Service ltd and later left to be a cofounder at Vitalis Healthcare, before starting up Spleet.
Akintola, on the other hand, bagged a Geography & Resource Development degree from the University of Ghana. He further enrolled in a flight academy school in South Africa, then worked as a product and promotions manager at GT Bank and an assistant manager at E-Transact Plc before starting up Spleet. They talked to Joy Ehonwa about entrepreneurship and meeting society’s needs.
CN: What inspired Spleet; what’s the story?
Spleet was born from the persistent ambition to move out of parents’ house. As a result of the lack of upfront rent of 1 to 2 years required by homeowners, the other alternative was to squat at friend’s place which was the case until the realization that what the average millennial, business professional, tourist really needs is a space to function as effectively as possible without having to take an entire house.
CN: What exactly are the services you offer and how would you describe your target audience?
Spleet offers a variety of flexible payment options i.e daily, weekly or monthly for co-shared spaces which entails sharing a house with vetted business professionals or taking up an entire space by oneself.
We would describe our target audience as working professionals, millennials and digital nomads wanting the sociability and convenience of a co-living space but failing to find quality accommodation. In addition, it’s also a platform which enables house owners list their space and earn rental money.
CN: Why would someone choose Spleet instead of simply staying in a hotel?
Spleet is the absolute definition of a home away from your house. While some might enjoy the idea of getting into a hotel room with orchestrated and rehearsed greetings from the concierge while ushered into a room with a towel shaped in the form of a duck and where everything seems to be going on at a cost that’s remarkably high, a great portion of travellers, tourists, as well as locals still crave for the pleasant feel of having a home feel away from their home, networking with like minds, being able to cook or make their favourite meal on a not-so-lazy day, at a significant fraction of the cost of a hotel.
CN: Which locations does Spleet cover?
Due to the target market of Spleet which is business professionals and millennials in Africa starting with the city of Lagos, it was inevitable that we began on the Island with our first Spleet space in Lekki 1. Beyond that we have expanded to Oniru, V.I, and other parts of Lekki for our monthly spaces, with further plans of getting spaces in Surulere, Yaba, and Festac. Our daily spaces i.e short-lets cover more locations which currently are; Lekki, VGC, V.I, Ikoyi, Oniru, Gbagada, and Omole.
CN: How did you raise capital to start the business?
This was a big decision as the initial ideation stage of Spleet from a distance felt like we needed a lot of money to start with. As most people get to realize, the cost of capital and funds in Lagos, Nigeria is particularly high especially when you don’t come from a family that will just give you money because you asked. So far, Spleet has survived solely on revenues generated from inception but we are in the process of raising funds to further scale as the business is proven to be a viable opportunity.
CN: What were your biggest challenges starting out and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge starting out was getting good properties as we knew that demand for spaces was high. Convincing homeowners to give us their property while having a pact to also have it furnished required a deliberate and aggressive strategy as well as a hustle spirit. Nevertheless, this remains a challenge we combat every day to push the boundaries while ensuring space seekers are satisfied with each Spleet space.
CN: What has the feedback been like so far?
We would like to assume that there will be those who might have odd feelings about Spleet, either from a distance or otherwise, but to have grown this far purely by referrals and little or no marketing, the greater portion of Spleet feedback has been extremely encouraging. We continue to grow, ensuring that our service and product delivery gets even better.
CN: What steps does someone who needs a place to stay for a few days, or for a few months, need to take to get a Spleet space?
Sign up/Register on Spleet
Fill necessary details
Get Verified as a Spleet Member
CN: What’s your long-term vision for Spleet?
The long term vision is to ensure that when it comes to space rentals across Africa for the average tourist, traveler, or local, Spleet is the go-to platform or product to use because of the service and product delivery as well as the understanding of the African terrain incorporated into making each Spleeter’s stay a pleasant experience.