The Real Deal New York

Roommate-matching startup Roomi expands internationally

The app is launching in London, followed by other European cities
By Meenal Vamburkar | May 24, 2018 08:00AM

Ajay Yadav (Credit: Wikipedia Commons and Twitter)

On the heels of acquiring yet another rival, online roommate finder Roomi is looking to grow its global presence.

The startup is launching in London, with other cities to follow, Roomi said in a statement. The service has previously been available in the U.S. and Canada.

As part of its international expansion, Roomi acquired Study Abroad Apartments, a platform for international students to book housing online. Roomi said plans to eventually enter other European markets including Barcelona, Madrid, Florence, Paris, Rome and Stockholm.

“We’ve always believed that anyone should be able to move anywhere in the world and we are excited to expand Roomi internationally to achieve this goal,” CEO Ajay Yadav said in a statement.

Roomi is like Tinder for finding a roommate: Users browse through profiles of potential roommates or room listings to find a match. The company said the service — which includes in-app messaging and optional background checks — has more than 1.2 million users. It charges up to 10 percent of the first month’s rent for any lease signed through the app.

Launched in 2015, Roomi has raised more than $17 million in funding. Last year, the company raised $11 million in a Series A round. Atami Capital led the round, which also included Rosecliff Ventures, Townsquare Media, JXC Investors, Great Oaks Venture Capital and DCM. Citigroup executive Dan Keegan, former Trulia president Paul Levine and Global Switch CEO John Corcoran also invested.

In March, Roomi acquired Symbi, in its third acquisition of a competitor. The company struck a deal with the Room Ring last year and in 2016.

Roomi is among the many startups betting on the growth in shared living. Common, founded by Brad Hargreaves in 2015, rents entire apartment buildings and then sublets rooms in shared units. The company raised $16 million in a 2016 funding round and is backed by the LeFrak and Milstein real estate families. Traditional real estate firms like Property Markets Group, the Durst Organization and others are also experimenting with shared living projects.