Ideal Flatmate desires to be a matchmaking platform for UK flatshares
Londoners within the unfun place of desiring to discover a new flatmate — and missing the straightforward choices of buddies or circle of relatives to transport in with — can get a bit of algorithmic lend a hand from a UK startup with the no-frills title of Ideal Flatmate.
The startup is making use of dating-style character matchmaking to check out to make it more straightforward for strangers to find a appropriate area significant other. Users are requested to take an on-site survey, responding to a chain of statements with a scaled reaction (from strongly comply with strongly disagree), with a purpose to be matched with probably appropriate flatmates.
There are already a couple of US startups providing algorithmic roommate matching platforms, corresponding to faculty student-focused platform roomsurf, however Ideal Flatmate is claiming to be the primary to marketplace in the United Kingdom. It’s additionally now not restricted to scholars, although it’s restricted to London flatshares for now — although the plan is to amplify national in the United Kingdom this yr.
It cushy introduced its web site closing October however is formally launching now — with some three,000 registered customers at this nascent level, 1,000 indexed homes, and a complete of round 30,000 distinctive guests up to now.
Development has been funded via the founders and a few unnamed non-public traders. “We’re looking to run a further round of funding later in the year,” says co-founder Tom Gatzen.
“Given that more than half of the 20-39 age group is projected to be renting privately by 2025, the market is growing significantly,” he provides.
It’s indisputably true that during the last decade a rising share of UK families were renting vs proudly owning their very own properties — socioeconomic shift that’s infrequently badged with the label: ‘Generation Rent’ — a development pushed via quite a lot of components corresponding to steeply emerging area costs as call for for housing has outstripped provide.
“There have been a mix of flathunters using the site and landlords uploading their properties,” says Gatzen, discussing who the standard person is up to now. “The highest proportion of users are in the 20-35 bracket but there are also a significant number of 40+ flathunters, indicative of the growing number of this age range living in shared rental accommodation as a result of societal changes.”
The web site’s matchmaking survey covers spaces that may be standard flashpoints for home unity, corresponding to socializing conduct and attitudes to cleanliness. But it’s additionally probing a bit of deeper at the character entrance, with questions that glance to spot how extroverted or introverted an individual is — and fit customers accordingly. It says it has labored with two psychologists from the University of Cambridge to lend a hand expand the survey.
“We ran market research on over 500 flatsharers asking them 100 questions which we felt were the most relevant in working out whether you are compatible flatmates. After running a factor analysis with our Cambridge professors and testing the answers we received, the 20 questions we have were found to be the most important.”
It’s obviously too early for the group so as to get up their matchmaking method with any company information proving effectiveness, however Gatzen claims anecdotal comments up to now appears certain with customers announcing they “feel” they’re getting matched to “like-minded people”.
“A key part of our progression will be around fine-tuning and testing the matching to ensure people are getting paired up with suitable flatmates,” he provides.
Despite it being early days, the group isn’t taking its time to begin reserving income, launching paid choices in contemporary weeks — however then flathunting is most often a drawback with an overly restricted lifespan. People could be content material to head on dates for years and years, however maximum sane other folks don’t wish to be caught in ‘living limbo’ for greater than a month or two at maximum.
Add to that maximum London flatshares have a 12 month contract hooked up to them, so the income alternatives listed below are broadly spaced too. Even factoring in ‘Generation Rent’ this isn’t a dating-sized marketplace alternative, in any way.
So whilst it’s loose to browse Ideal Flatmate the facility to touch doable flatmates calls for customers to stump up for a subscription. Pricing begins at £four.99 for every week’s get entry to — for which they get delivered suits with the “maximum appropriate doable flatmates and homes” for his or her standards (so location, price range and character).
They additionally get get entry to to the on-site messaging characteristic so matched customers/teams of customers can begin to chat to look whether or not they wish to meet in particular person to discuss a conceivable flatshare.
A 2d strand of the monetizing technique will even release quickly, with Gatzen announcing they’ll get started charging landlords and letting brokers a price to promote it at the web site this spring.
The startup’s balancing act seems like it is going to be now not discouraging the amount of customers it wishes so as to ship sufficient related/high quality suits for its goal flatseekers and landlords to imagine it a carrier price paying for — risking restricting its doable to develop sufficiently big to generate sufficient revenues to be sustainable past the fast time period.