Symbi, which was only founded in 2014, also notably has its headquarters in the same city as Roomi, in New York City. The service started out as an online rental platform in the city, and so it’s no surprise to see Roomi make a move to acquire it – after all, Roomi has acquired two other competitors in the last couple of years, namely The Room Ring and Room.me.
“We believe it’s going to take a lot more than just us to solve the problem [of finding roommates],” Roomi’s founder Ajay Yadav told Inman. “We want to learn from these companies and have the benefit of their experience.”
Yadav said that a larger, single marketplace for roommate listings will be better for renters as it will provide a more streamlined experience and more options via a single portal. Roomi would of course, also have the advantage of having a much better selection of rooms and roommates than any of its remaining competitors can offer.
For those unfamiliar with Roomi, the app works a bit like the dating app Tinder. Users swipe through rooms and roommates they like in order to find suitable matches. Roomi also provides background checks on roommates to ensure its user’s safety.
Roomi said that as it completes its acquisition of Symbi, it will gradually transition its listings to its own marketplace.
“When we were building Symbi, we observed first-hand the power of network effects,” said Symbi co-founders Simone Kalmakis and Peter Kalmakis in a statement. “[…] By joining forces with Roomi, our users can now tap into the broader ecosystem to find their perfect roommate match.”
Roomi, which launched one year later than Symbi in 2015, has experienced rapid growth in its three years of existence. The company first raised $11 million in Series A funding, before shooting to the top of Apple’s App Store rankings for housing apps.
Roomi has also grown from its original base in New York, and now covers more than 20 markets in the U.S. with a big presence in New York and San Francisco.