Selected in the Fit 4 Start program (Spring 2019 edition), we’ve just met with RoomMate. This Italian startup, based in Bologna, has developed a mobile application that simplifies the relationships between tenants and landlords. Let’s hear about their success story from Mattia Raffaelli, co-founder and business developer of the startup.
by: Marion Finzi
featured: RoomMate’s founders
Simplifying the lives of roommates
“RoomMate came out of a personal need. Its founders encountered difficulties in managing a shared apartment when they were at university and that’s how it all began,” explained Mattia Raffaelli.
Based on that need, the three co-founders developed an easy-to-use app that helps roommates manage their daily lives within the apartment. Additionally, they are adding a landlord dashboard to enable better communication between housemates and landlords. “We discovered that problems were not inside the apartment but mostly in the relationships that exist between housemates and landlords.” explained Mattia.
Once the Ios or Android app is downloaded by the tenants, they can balance and track their expenses in a tidy way, maintain a shared payment history of bills and deadlines for payments, establish whose turn it is to do the chores in the house and create to-do lists to keep track of what needs to be done at home.
For landlords, the startup developed a web app. The app allows landlords to manage their properties, tenants, leases and payments. Most importantly, there will be a direct link with apartment inhabitants to avoid or prevent any type of litigation.
What is their business model then? The app is free for the user. Landlords will pay based on how many apartments they own or manage. “We decided to keep the app free for tenants as we know they do not have a high spending power and are often on the weak side of this relationship,” said Mattia.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the F4S program! Luxembourg is the perfect place, geographically within Europe and because of its multicultural scene, to start our European expansion!”
An Italian success story ready to conquer Europe
The three founders, Mirko Martignon, Matteo Bucci and Mattia, originally launched the startup in Bologna. “We were incubated in Almacube, the incubator of the university of Bologna,” said Mattia. “We, then, had the chance to follow a second program with Nana Bianca in Florence, the biggest incubator in Italy.”
The team is now back in Bologna, where it all started, in the Almacube’s offices. Two more employees, a UX/UI designer and marketing manager, have been added to the team.
The app is now available in Italian and English. It has 10,000 active users in Italy, mostly in the most populated cities. “But, surprisingly, we’ve also added organic users in Europe (around 1,500) mostly in Germany, France and UK, but also in the US (around 1,000) and India (around 500),” said the co-founder.
The startup doesn’t hide that applying to the F4S program is part of a bigger plan. “We are thrilled to be a part of the F4S program! Luxembourg is the perfect place, geographically within Europe and because of its multicultural scene, to start our European expansion! Once we’re live in Luxembourg, feedback and validation from this market will allow us to expand to France and in Germany, targeted for the end of 2019!” concluded the ambitious co-founder!