Everyone, at least at some point during their lives, has had the misfortune of bunking with a roommate from hell. Messy, noisy, and exactly the opposite of you in every way, you spend a tremendous amount of effort carrying out bitter verbal assaults on them in your head until the final, explosive confrontation drives either one of you permanently from the war-torn living space.
If this scenario sounds at all familiar, Roomaloo, a soon-to-launch Chicago startup, desperately feels your pain. The new service aims to banish the timeless headache of horribly mismatched roommates by providing a service that will match you perfectly with other users who share all the right qualities.
Roomaloo was founded by Patrick Yoon and Fleming Au, who originally set out to create a service that pairs international students with housing in the United States.
“After months of research, building, and tweaking, we noticed a large gap in the online roommate search process for everyone,” wrote Yoon. “Realizing that our vision and platform could solve this bigger problem, we evolved our mission to focus on revolutionizing the way people found their roommates and living spaces.”
The new venture turned into Roomaloo, an online roommate matching service that utilizes a whole array of information to create the most desirable living situation possible. Roomaloo will even integrate with Facebook, according to Yoon, collecting location and friend data to further its search for the perfect pairing.
“We feel that the competition is extremely dated,” said Yoon. “There’s still no major brand name that has solidified in the market… [Facebook integration] along with a great design will make the experience safer, easier, and more enjoyable for users.”
Though Roomaloo is set to launch sometime next month, the founder said they’ve been gaining traction through social media. According to Yoon, the company has already begun working with people in Chicago actively searching for roommates. The service will be free for now, though in the future the team may be adding premium paid services and potentially an online space where rommates can each pay their part of the rent plus aggregated utility bills.
The company is continuing to bootstrap its operation until the August launch, at which time they will figure out their funding strategy moving forward. “I believe that funding could really help us move to different locations and would help make Roomaloo an even better and more amazing free service for everyone to use,” Yoon wrote.
For now the Roomaloo team is focused on getting the service up and running for Chicagoans in need of the perfect roommate, along with building its initial user base. “Our core philosophy is to take risks with the hope of better success,” Yoon said. “We also believe in loving what you do while having fun and looking professional.”