Roommate, a Trailblazing Startup from Impact Hub's Pre-accelerator, Reshaping Student Housing Dynamics
Roommate, a pre-accelerator finalist of Impact Hub, is revolutionizing the student housing sector by bridging the gap between apartment seekers and landlords. The startup, established a year ago, initially focused on assisting students in finding compatible roommates to share rental expenses.
However, Roommate quickly identified a significant hurdle: landlords were hesitant to rent to students, fearing unreliable payments and potential property damage. To address these concerns, Roommate innovated a unique solution involving direct negotiations with apartment owners.
Marika Khantadze, Roommate's founder, explains their strategy, "We pivoted our approach to create value for apartment owners. We take over the apartments, rent them out to a group of students, and designate a 'leader' among them to manage and maintain the property. This leader is responsible for regularly updating us with photos and the apartment's condition, which we relay to the owners through our platform."
This model has enabled Roommate to lay the groundwork for a reliable, user-centric system in Georgia. It not only facilitates group rentals for students, addressing their primary challenge of affordability but also safeguards the interests of property owners.
"Understanding and catering to the owners' needs inadvertently solved the students' problems more effectively," Khantadze adds. Roommate's increasing demand is a testament to their commitment to high-quality, customer-focused service, underpinned by comprehensive contracts outlining the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. The startup also places a strong emphasis on apartment insurance.
Over the past year, Roommate has continually refined its platform based on user feedback and insights gained from the Impact Hub pre-accelerator program, which the startup joined in October. This program has been pivotal in Roommate's growth, offering invaluable networking opportunities, mentorship, and insights into investor relations.
In January, Roommate, along with other pre-accelerator finalists, will head to Tallinn to pitch to international investors, a milestone opportunity facilitated by Impact Hub.
Founded in 2021 by the Impact Hub Tbilisi initiative team, the startup pre-accelerator caters to the local startup ecosystem's needs. Supported by the TBC Startuper program since its inception, the pre-accelerator has engaged 60 startups across three streams, securing over 1 million euros in investments and grants.