Since the pandemic, it has become routine for many to work from home a few days a week. Commuters, especially, have been able to save on long commutes and travel expenses. However, for those whose workplaces are significantly distant from their primary residences, an expensive second home was often a necessity. This is where a new Munich-based startup aims to bring about a change: Myflexhome is offering a hotel subscription as an alternative to a second residence. This offers tax benefits - and according to the company, users can save up to 60 percent compared to traditional hotel bookings.
"We noticed some examples around us where we thought, this could be a good business idea," says co-founder Kilian Ricken in an interview with the online magazine Gründerszene.de. The idea came to him and his co-founders, Frank Pellhammer and Maximilian Brunner, during the COVID-19 restrictions when many people spent most of their time working from home. The startup aims to create a model that financially facilitates long-term hybrid work.
Currently, the subscription is available in Munich and Berlin. The participating hotels, listed on the Myflexhome website, are major chains primarily used by business travelers. Customers can book between four and sixteen nights per month. In Munich, the price for four nights currently varies between 236 and 424 euros, equating to a minimum of 59 euros per night. In a conversation with Gründerszene.de, Ricken states that the company currently has a three-digit number of customers who, on average, subscribe for seven nights per month. This includes corporate clients such as a nursing service whose employees are employed in temporary work.
In Munich, renters of a second residence are subjected to a hefty tax rate of 18 percent of the annual net cold rent. In Germany's most expensive city, this accumulates to a substantial amount, which users of the hotel subscription model would be able to save. Moreover, this model could alleviate the congested housing market - after all, more than 30,000 people (as of 2021) have registered a second residence in Munich.
Currently, the startup is being supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs with a five-digit sum. As Ricken reveals to Gründerszene.de, the startup is currently self-financed through bootstrapping: a low-budget strategy where the funding primarily comes from equity and the private sphere. From September, Myflexhome intends to initiate its "first financing round." Further expansion is also on the agenda: Locations like Hamburg and Frankfurt are in the pipeline.