SpareRoom, a NYC-based roommate matching app and website, raised $6m in funding.
The company intends to use the funds to continue its expansion into the US through the rollout of innovative features, including video profiles which offer users the digital equivalent of face-to-face meetings.
Launched in the UK in 2004 by CEO and founder Rupert Hunt, who is now relocating to New York from the UK, SpareRoom provides a roommate-finding service available via iOS and Android apps as well as online.
The service has over 191,000 thousand users in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.
SpareRoom Raises $6 Million to Roll Out Roommate Finding Service across the USA
SpareRoom Goes Live Across US as CEO and Founder Rupert Hunt Relocates from London, UK to New York to Spearhead US Roll-Out
NEW YORK-SpareRoom, the roommate matching app and website, today announced it has raised $6 million to continue its expansion into the US. But this funding isn’t coming from external venture capitalists – SpareRoom is investing in itself.
The investment is coming from the company’s own profits as the UK’s biggest roommate site (and third biggest real estate site overall). SpareRoom CEO and founder Rupert Hunt is also relocating to New York from the UK to spearhead the expansion.
“We’ve already launched SpareRoom in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles,” says Hunt. “Our user numbers have more than doubled this year as people look for a better way to find roommates; one that puts people matching first. We chose to fund the expansion ourselves as SpareRoom was bootstrapped from the start. I firmly believe that putting your customers’ needs first, rather than those of investors or shareholders, makes for a far better user experience.”
Following successful launches in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the service will be made available across the US, with a particular focus on new key cities of Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Washington DC. The CEO and founder’s move to New York will mean he can oversee the expansion personally – allowing him to get under the skin of the US market and ensure SpareRoom offers the services today’s roommates really need.
The capital will accelerate the company’s visibility in the US market through the rollout of innovative features, including video profiles which offer users the digital equivalent of face-to-face meetings, vital in getting to know a future roommate.
“You just can’t replicate that first face to face meeting by messaging or emailing someone,” Hunt explains. “We see it in action every week at our Speed Roommating events – it’s not just about what someone says, it’s down to body language, energy, instinct. Simply put it’s whether you connect or not, and that’s almost impossible to judge without meeting someone. Video speeds that process up and saves time so you can focus on meeting the people you’re most likely to click with.
“When you share, the people you live with are way more important than the apartment – so making the right choice about your roommates is critical to feeling great about your new living situation. It can be the difference between having a roommate nightmare and having the best year of your life.”