Zumper buys PadMapper in deal worth nearly $10M

Startups join forces to evade Zillow

From left: Anthemos Georgiades and Eric DeMenthon
From left: Anthemos Georgiades and Eric DeMenthon

In the high-stakes game of apartment hunting, startups Zumper and PadMapper are joining forces, the companies announced Thursday.

In a deal worth nearly $10 million, San Francisco-based Zumper, which connects brokers and owners with potential renters, has agreed to buy Padmapper, the popular map-based rental search tool. It’s a move that will create what the companies are calling the biggest rental startup nationwide – or at least one that will compete with Zillow, a main rival that’s been on an acquisition spree.

“It was get bought or partner up and do something,” Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades told Forbes. Eric DeMenthon, CEO of PadMapper, added: “It made sense to join forces instead of getting eaten up.”

Earlier this month, Seattle-based Zillow acquired New York City rental platform Naked Apartments for $13 million in cash.

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The two companies have focused on apartment rentals but both plan to develop a platform that bridges the entire real estate process, competing more directly with Zillow. Zumper raised money to fund the acquisition and plans to raise a large series B in the summer, Forbes reported.

Zumper had 4 million monthly visits in January, up from 50,000 monthly visits in 2014. It’s projecting 9 million monthly visits by this summer, and is on track to rake in $5 million in revenue this year.

The two companies bring starkly different pedigrees to the joint effort.

PadMapper, which launched in 2009, became popular with college students and recent grads via word of mouth. DeMenthon adamantly resisted investors’ advances in order to maintain control of the company.

Zumper, which launched in 2012, targets a slightly older demographic. The company, which has a small office in New York City, has raised more than $20 million venture capital from investors including Goodwater Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz and others. [Forbes] – E.B. Solomont