Roomi is a mobile platform users can download for free and search listings in multiple cities. Ajay Yadav founded Roomi when he noticed how many ads on Craigslist were seeking roommates. This was the pain point that led this serial entrepreneur to get back into the startup game and build a new mobile app. Yadav also realized there was more to the process than just connecting people. There was what happened the next morning. This is the method by which he and his team plan to monetize the mobile app.
By building services within the core service, Yadav and his team created a mobile app that helps people through the process of finding, culling, and maintaining the relationship with roommates. The process begins with a background check and id verification service after connecting within the mobile app to put users at ease for fear of being scammed. Roomi stays front of mind with the user by providing all roommates the ability to pay for split rent and utilities through the app and then directly to the landlord and local services.
After finding success in other cities, Roomi launched in New York in June 2015 and quickly reached 100,000 downloads. The launch in Austin, TX, helped Roomi reach 250,000 downloads, according to Yadav. In keeping with the startup mantra of explosive growth, Yadav now seeks to close a funding round soon so he can expand into Boston, Washington D.C., and Chicago. This Crunchbase profile indicated Roomi recently raised $4.3 million. Yadav said that listing is not correct. While the funding rounding is nearly complete, Yadav didn't feel comfortable confirming the amount. "I don't like Crunchbase for this reason," he said. "We haven't closed the round, and won't have the funds for at least another month. I can't lie to the market like that and say I have money that hasn't come in yet."
Yadav said he prefers to use Angel List for these listings as it is more accurate and helpful. Angel List has connected Yadav with a quality team especially John Lin. Lin was brought on as an equi-hire in the product manager role because of his experience as the founder of TownHall. Town Hall is an anonymous corporate chat app. The chat feature of Roomi is a vital part of the verification process. Yadav said Lin's background is perfect for this. Many other team members bring solid venture capital and business analysis backgrounds to the company allowing Yadav to do his job without worrying about day-to-day happenings.