Roomi, an online roommate finder that clinched market share by snatching up its competitors, is laying off more than half of its staff after a failed funding round.
The layoffs were announced Friday in an update to a CNN profile of Roomi’s founder Ajay Yadav and the startup.
The company said a “round of funding it had anticipated fell through,” which meant 40 to 50 layoffs of Roomi’s 63 employees. Yadav told CNN that “it took us all by surprise,” but said Roomi will continue its operations. Yadav also stated that a meeting with Roomi’s board and investors “about the best way to move forward” would be held. The timing of the layoffs and meeting is unclear. Yadav and Roomi did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Roomi has raised $17 million since its founding in 2015. Last November, the company raised $11 million in a Series A round led by Atami Capital. Other notable investors included Citigroup executive Dan Keegan, former Trulia president Paul Levine and Global Switch CEO John Corcoran.
The company has also steadily acquired competitors beginning in 2016 with Room Ring and Room.me. In March, Roomi acquired a third competitor, Symbi.
Yadav told The Real Deal at the time of the latter acquisition that he believed one company would ultimately dominate the roommate listing space, drawing a comparison with Facebook’s stronghold on social media. “One leader needs to evolve,” he said said. “I think we have a clear chance of making it.” At the time Roomi boasted 1.1 million registered users and 280,000 room listings.
Months later in May, the company began an international expansion by launching its app in London and acquiring the platform Study Abroad Apartments. [CNN] —Erin Hudson