Long before I had the idea to build Roomi, I believed anyone should be able to move anywhere in the world and feel at home. I grew up in New Delhi, India and moved to the US in 2006 to study computer science at NYIT. Moving here was scary. I didn’t know anyone and barely spoke English. I think moving to NYC alone and trying to figure out how and where I belonged was where this dream started.
Because of this experience, I knew that someday I wanted to find a way to help others find their home wherever they moved. I didn’t know how and didn’t have the idea for Roomi until a little later. After experiencing how difficult it was to search for flexible housing and find compatible roommates I knew there had to be a better way.
The problem wasn’t the people or places, it was the search tools. Facebook wasn’t built to search for apartments or room rentals, and listings on Craigslist weren’t verified. I saw this as an opportunity. I decided I could create a safer and easier way to help people find the flexible, affordable housing they needed. This could be how I could help anyone move anywhere and feel like they belong.
I believe the future of living is going to be shared living. Millennials aren’t buying homes. Gen Z-ers probably won’t be buying homes. Young people today want to spend their money on experiences, they want to work flexibly and travel more. Living with roommates isn’t just a trend – flexible living and shared housing is the future. People want access to commitment-free, immediate, verified shared housing options.
Now, I am proud to say Roomi is the safest platform to search for short and long-term room rentals and our users know they can connect with real people and find real places.
Today we are announcing another round of funding to help us continue to expand and help even more people find shared housing. Atami Capital led this round and helped us raise $11 million bringing our total funding to $17 million.
I’m also excited to invite our users to join us on this journey! In addition to Series A we have a goal to raise an additional $1 million by hosting a crowdfunding campaign with Republic. Roomi is built by millennials for millennials (and soon Gen-Z), so allowing our users to invest and buy shares in Roomi through a Republic campaign was an easy decision. We want to be able to connect with our users and let them be part of our success.
Thank you to all of our customers, investors and employees who have helped us get to this point. Get ready to see even more great things from the Roomi team in 2018!