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Space Sharing: What is the Potential and What are the Risks? With Gabriel Isserlis
Marketplace Risk Platform Podcast
Hello and welcome to the platform podcast,
hosted by Mark Replace,
was a advisory board chair,
El Tucker, a former journalist who writes,
speaks and consults on all things startups.
The platform podcast features conversations with founders, operators,
and experts tackling a myriad of topics facing the marketplace
and sharing a economy startup ecosystem.
Please note this podcast is for informational purposes only,
and is now a professional advice.
For specific issues, please seek an appropriate professional
or contact us at info at MarketPlaceworks.com for more information.
And now without further ado,
I'll hand things over to El.
Hello and welcome back to the platform podcast.
Today I am joined by Gabriel Isselis,
who is found and CEO of 2T, the Airbnb for creative spaces.
Welcome to the podcast, Gabriel.
Thank you very much, nice to be here.
It's lovely to talk to you about 2T.
I have to say that some of the posts I've been seeing on social media
are gorgeous simply because the spaces that you list on the platform,
some of them are just phenomenal,
are spectacular and just in really inspiring spaces.
So tell me a bit about the type of space that you list.
Well, is creative spaces.
So we are quite creative with a definition of that.
It's any space that can be used by anyone in the creative industries.
So that's we define them in music, theater, dance,
film, TV and video and photography.
And these spaces can be used for any creative purpose.
So the ones that jump to mind video shoots,
like music videos or brand shoots,
but also photo shoots, as well as rehearsals for music,
theater and dance, recording performances,
live streams and kind of the list goes on.
But any creative purpose across any of those disciplines.
And therefore, the spaces that we list are a wide variety.
The smallest space we have is a living room that can fit,
I think, two people with an upright canner for about seven pounds an hour.
Wow. The largest space in landmess is an entire park in Kent
that you could hire for a music festival.
And quite a wide variety there.
But then the most common spaces that we have are photo studios,
video studios, warehouses, we have night clubs that you can hire during the day.
Churches, homes and a number of wildly different various spaces.
But if you subscribe to my LinkedIn channel,
I think we post new ones every two days, so yeah.
Now, I'm going to say that you're probably, you know,
from a very creative background.
And I think that I'm going to have to mention that I can here in the background,
violin playing, and you did mention that beforehand.
But I just think that it kind of really adds to the whole creative vibe of
Tuti. So I hope that won't be lost in post production here.
And I believe that is your partner who is violinist.
Tell me a bit about the creative background that you have that's inspired you
to set up this marketplace.
Yeah. So I definitely have a creative background.
So my family have been musicians for at least four generations.
Some of the managers on the professional, my dad, my mom, my girlfriend, obviously,
two aunts, two uncles, grandfather, grandmother, cousins,
their all musicians. So I'm surrounded by music. I've always been surrounded by music.
I've played cellos since I was five. Honestly, don't play it that much now,
because I'm busy running Tuti, but I should play it some more.
And after I, when I was five, I wanted to be a child that's like my dad.
When I hit my teenage years, a lot of people kept comparing me to him,
because we were both both a child that's, and I got rather sick of that.
So I decided to go off and stay on the creative world,
but study film, which I did.
I studied film to create films about the future, because I'm vaccinated by the future.
And then halfway through those studies, I was like, well, how about I actually
try and learn how to build the future? So I went and also got a degree in IT and coding.
Enough of degree to know what I'm talking about, but also to know I'm not very good at coding.
Yeah, I don't do that that much. And then I came home after university,
didn't really know what I wanted to do. I started having ideas for this start up,
but very early I did. And I worked in photography and theatre as well.
So I have music, film, photography and theatre all in my background and IT.
And I combine them all into a tech start up for the creative industries.
There was all leading you in a direction, but I suppose at the time you weren't necessarily sure
what that was. I love it when that happens. I think that sometimes it can all become clear.
And then people think you did this all deliberately, but you, you know, it's not necessarily
that you're aware at the time that you're being pulled in a certain direction, is it?
Yeah, no, it was exactly that. And so tell me a bit about the people that
have used or are using to do because we've talked about some of the uses for the spaces,
but what about the people who are actually listing their spaces? Because some of these,
I may be people who are used to hiring out, you know, an auditorium or something like that,
but other other people maybe are doing this and actually renting out their own homes.
So, would tell me about these providers? So, the majority are people who do a professionally.
So, event venues that are all sorts of different venues. There's a lot of studios, as I mentioned earlier,
as well as like music venues, not grassroots, like there's some concert halls. We have
university facilities that aren't used all the time listed with us. There's just a wide range of
different types of professional venues who's income is generated mostly by creative bookings.
So, there's those. And then, yes, there are also people renting their homes. So, there are,
we have a number of people who are used to renting out their homes through kind of word of mouth,
and also other, like, through a website or through social media, who we've managed to get on board.
Like, one specific one I can shout out is Murray, who has a house in Hackney.
He, I believe, is a graphic designer, but he loves film, and he has rented his house out for films a
number of times. If you want to check out his house on Twitter, you can type in Murray into the
search and it'll pop him up. And, yeah, and he has a fantastic home. He's really experienced with
having shoots through his house. So, he's helped kind of inspire a number of the features on
Twitter to try and help make his life easier, which, luckily, then knock on, there are a lot of
people like him who want to invite filmmakers to their houses. So, yeah, we have a great relationship
with him. And then there's other people who have had, who rent out their, like, nice canos,
and nice living rooms for musicians, specifically classical music, because that's my background.
To practice rather than perform, but yeah. Yeah. So, a lot of people who have just left
university from music school, often don't have facilities that they can access, because at
university, at a concerto, they have access to the university facilities, as soon as they graduate,
they lose that. And it's quite expensive to go to most places and find a place to
to rehearse. So, we have a number of places that are listed between seven and 12 pounds an hour
that they can use, which is, yeah. Yeah. And so, you're solving a problem there. And for the actual
larger venues, what problem are you solving for them? They actual provide us, because presumably
these are people that are taking bookings anyway. I mean, obviously the pandemic has no doubt been
been tough on them, as it has for many of the creative industries. But for that side of the
platform, what problem are you solving? Are you filling in maybe times of day that they might not
normally have a booking or how do you sell it to them? A tiny bit. Well, I mean, the sale is not
the hardest one in the world. It's, hey, if you list on our platform for free, we'll help you market
the space to our network, which is different from yours, and you might get a few bookings to
us, and we'll only charge you when you get bookings. So, yeah. But from what we're actually offering
them and how we're kind of moving forward is we're assassinate with marketplace. So, we're
offering software as the back end of our marketplace, and there is like a lot of potential in the
status. So, there's kind of a lot of people, they accept bookings for their venue, but they don't
have any sort of professional booking system for their venues. We've been polling our users
and 80% is spreadsheets and Google Calendar to run their venues. Wow. So, we are the software that
we're building. We focus, I'd say, 80% of our time on our software, and it's just getting better
and better and better and better all the time. And that is how we're really helping them is we're
creating a software experience that is empathetic to creative uses, which is unlike most software,
most software as either built by a tech person who has no care and no understanding of creative
needs and creative nuances, or built by a creative person who has no understanding of technology,
which is where my overlap is pretty pretty really useful. Fantastic. So, take me back to the
very beginning. Where does the founding of Tuti Fitten with the pandemic? Where had the idea come
about or had you actually got off the ground before then and how did it affect things? Yeah,
so the idea came about years before the pandemic, but we got our MVP off the ground on Halloween
2018, which was exactly 10 years to the day after Bitcoin was launched, I like that. Anyway,
and so we launched our MVP on a incredible platform named Shared Tribe, which allows
anyone who wants to start a marketplace, it gives them the entire back end of a marketplace for
150 pounds a month. So all that you have to do is go and find supply and demand. You don't have to
worry about the tech, you don't have to worry about, can we set up payments, can we set up messaging,
they provide all of that and you just have to go and add a bit of branding and find supply and demand.
And that's a go version, isn't it? If I come in here. Yeah. Yeah. I found out about that on the
morning of Halloween 2018 and we had launched with our first venue by the night of Halloween 2018
and we had our first booking within a week. We could see why it's called Go for a start,
can't you, but I know a lot of founders who are part of the marketplace risk community who will
have had a successful MVP with one of the shared tribe products. So I'm so pleased to hear that
it's been what helped to get 2T out of the starting blocks if that's the right expression.
It is a fantastic resource that every marketplace founder should check out.
So yeah. So we started with that 2018 to 2019. We stayed on that until 2020. We were planning
on building up what we were already building our own technology at the beginning of 2020 and we were
planning on switching over some time in summer of 2020 and then the pandemic hit. So we were like,
well, we're not using our shared tribe sites. So we kind of shut that down earlier than we would have
and switched over to our new custom built site, which was full of bugs, but luckily it was the
minimum pandemic and we were dealing in space that people would meet up in. So no one was looking
at our site. And we spent the next 11 months, basically in stealth mode, building tech and trying
to make sure that when restrictions lifted in the UK, we would be able to hit the ground running
and grow quickly based on the automated tech that we have built through the pandemic.
And I'd pretty, yeah, so if I was to say we succeeded on that one. So going into the pandemic,
we had 200 listings and a thousand registered users. After restrictions lifted in March 2021,
we grew from 200 to 1,000 listings in six months. So five extra. Wow. When we were focusing
on listing growth. Now we haven't focused on listing growth for a little while, but we're still
getting organic listings every week, which is fantastic. And in terms of location, where are these
listings? Almost exclusively London. Okay. And so what are your ambitions beyond London?
Yeah. So we're a self funded startup to date. And we didn't want to overwhelm ourselves with having
listings outside of a city where we have customer support, basically. So right now,
for now, we are just London, but we are accepting people across the UK if they come organically.
And very shortly, we will be expanding properly across the UK and then internationally after that.
And I know a bit about the competitor landscape. And I'm more familiar with space
marketplaces like your sharing marketplaces, which focus solely on the film location.
There are some big players in that space. You've broadened that. Would you say that you have
something quite different to some of the competitors there? Simply because you've taken this
idea to focus on the creative spaces. Because to me, that's quite clever because it encompasses
maybe the film locations. But I've also come across marketplaces, very small one for
rehearsals and for sort of meetings that's more creative, maybe environment is needed.
You've kind of struggled all of these. That's quite clever. Thank you. Yeah, that's kind of
one of the ways that we're different. Another way that we are different in differentiating ourselves
is again coming back to that a lot of these are built by tech people who see an opportunity but don't
really know the sector. One way that our infrastructure, our tech infrastructure is different
is that if you go on to touchy, you can search by locations or spaces. A location is an
entire building, a space is an individual room. If you go to almost any other listing site and you type
kitchen, for example if you want to shoot, let's say a kitchen product for a brand. You type kitchen
into any other site and you'll be presented with a bunch of homes and you'll have to open each of
those homes in the new tab, scroll through till you find the picture of the kitchen and then
compare them across tabs. Because we've narrowed down our focus to a room level beyond a location level,
we are able to, well if you type kitchen into a city, you'll be presented with a bunch of
kitchens right there and then you don't have to open a new tab, you have immediate oversight
of what the kitchens look like, what they cost and where they are all right there. So that's
one really key way that my understanding of film has really added to the technical design of this
site from the ground up. Yeah and I mean I used to work in advertising as a creative so did these
types of you know shoot for brand work and to me that cuts down on hours and hours of actual
searching so you know I can see how that would be a real selling point as well. So just to focus
in a bit more on some of the market place of risk favourite topics. Let's talk about insurance
because some of these venues presumably will have their own. So do you offer insurance how does
it work? We don't offer insurance yet. It's definitely in the pipeline but as the majority of the
venues that we offer look that we work with, they are event venues, they use to these sorts of events,
they have their own in house insurance and it covers the bookings. We state this very clearly
in our health docs so if anyone joins their well aware that we don't offer insurance and we
don't help with that aspect right now that's the best thing that you can be as completely clear
and transparent with what you do offer and what you don't offer. And I know that you're very
you're very interested in this trustworthy transparent you know side to your brand.
How else does that manifest in what you're offering because I know that some marketplaces
when they're scaling early stage are not necessarily having that one to one connection with the
people that are listing. Talk me through how you've gone about that. Yeah so in early days we were
advised by a number of people that we could just go and scrape the internet and grab as many
listings from the internet so if we wanted and then publish them all on 30 and tell people hey
we've published your listing for you and take control here and I got advice from a lot of
potential customers so the people advise me that were advisors or people founders running out
of the startups etc and then I got feedback from a bunch of potential customers please don't do
that that completely erodes trust from day one and marketplaces are built on trust so
I just we never listed people without their permission we make it as easy as possible for people
to list with us like incredibly simply we we go and ask for their permission to list
very often we will offer to do the listing for them so it takes them no time because we're doing
all of the work and all they need to do is click publish but yeah we made sure never to kind of
erode trust from our users before the starting date I think that that will imagine so if you
very well as you as you go the brand having that yeah and in terms of of going the brand
and how many people are in the team at the moment and what were to your plans for I know you said
you were bootstrapping are you planning to seek an investment round? We're currently seeking an investment
round so the current team is I am full time in London and I have a part time partner here
Ed who is helping me with marketing and then we have a couple people who work really like
on and off contract in the UK on various things and then we have two full time and two part time
developers in India who are internal founding team members but just remote in India and I am
I absolutely love that relationship because we have yeah they're their internal team members
they we work together every single day my favorite times my favorite times of building the
startup are working with the developers and inventing new things and learning technologies
and it's so exciting all of the things that we're building and yeah we we push new updates every
two weeks and it's awesome but yeah that's the team right now we're raising a very small first round
in order to build out the software side of our offering with that money we will grow the
tech team in India and we'll slightly grow the team in London and yeah that's roughly where
I had that's fantastic well I'm so pleased to be able to chat to you about this because I know
that you were at the sharing economy global summit at the end of 2021 it was great to have you
there and I hope that you will be able to come again this year it's an October this year and I would
love to see here from you then as well as I'm sure many of our people in our community would
and you know see how you're you're getting on if in the meantime they wanted to check out
to see I'm saying it like it's an Italian word for all is that right yeah yeah
we're a little more history on why we chose the name yes do quickly yeah please yeah so
well I said I come from a classical music background so to tea is written above the score in
classical scores for orchestras and it means everyone together it means bring in the orchestra
together and the reason we chose the word is one it captures the ethos of we want everyone to be
able to create and everyone's together and everyone's equal but also it is already an international
word if someone has studied classical music and been in an orchestra anywhere in the world
they will know the word word to tea I've like toured with orchestras across eastern Asia
so Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Japan etc and they all knew the word to tea
and not only that anyone who's ever ordered to tea fruity ice cream must know that it means
you know all or everyone and I'd be surprised I talked to a friend of mine and he was like yeah
two two fruity I was like yeah all the fruits and he was like oh I never understood that
oh wow so we're spreading the the ice cream love as well as the the music love that's brilliant
you know the the URL is for the marketplace is to tea to you TTI
dot space so anyone in the meantime who would like to check it out and I see you are active
on all your social channels so do follow TTI to see the most wonderful venues and spaces and
Gabriel it's been a pleasure thank you so much for coming on the podcast thank you for having me
it's been lovely to chat thank you for tuning into the platform podcast be sure to check us out
at marketplacerest.com for information and resources to help start up launch grow and succeed
and follow us on social media at marketplace risk to stay up to date on all of our
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6:00 who is the intro sooo long 😂·1 like·
Albert Einstein said, 'If you can't explain it simply enough, you haven't understood it well enough'.Dr Andrew brings such simplicity to explaining the workings of the brain. It's actually a hacker's guide into our own brain. You are doing great service to humanity Dr Andrew.4 months ago·8 likes·
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