Roommate-matching startup Roomi acquires third rival

Company raised $11M in November

Ajay Yadav, Peter and Simone Kalmakis
Ajay Yadav, Peter and Simone Kalmakis

Merger mania in the roommate matching economy continues. Roomi, an online room rental platform, said Thursday that it is acquiring its rival Symbi.

Symbi is the third competitor Roomi is acquiring, following deals with in 2016 and The Room Ring last year. Founded by Ajay Yadav in 2015, Roomi recently raised $11 million in a Series A round.

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Roomi’s mobile app is a little like Tinder for roommates: users can swipe through profiles of potential roommates or room listings until they hit a match. The company offers background checks on users and a basic roommate agreement. It charges up to 10 percent of the first month’s rent for any lease signed through the app.

Symbi was founded in 2014 by Simone and Peter Kalmakis and markets an app similar to Roomi’s. Yadav said he decided to acquire the company because of its customer base — which he will try to move over to Roomi — and its roommate-matching algorithm.

Yadav claims Roomi has 1.1 million registered users and 280,000 rooms listed on its app. Eventually, he predicted, a single firm will dominate the New York roommate listing market the way Facebook does social media. “One leader needs to evolve,” he said. “I think we have a clear chance of making it.”