Finding a good housemate is difficult. In the current rental crisis, it can seem near impossible. Enter RooMigo.
Unlike other property websites, RooMigo focuses on the people, not the property. They pair like-minded individuals together based on their interests and lifestyle choices.
The platform also wants to clamp down on scammers by allowing housemates to book rooms securely online.
We caught up RooMigo founder and CEO Ed Burke to find out more about this promising startup.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
”I have been passionate about connecting people and property for years, so running RooMigo is like the perfect job for me.
”The idea came to me when I was living in Singapore. I was looking for a new place to live, but I wanted to live with the right housemates. This is really important in city living because if you are living with the wrong people it can diminish your standard of living.
”I was visiting various places after work and after a few weeks, I finally found a place with a bunch of young entrepreneurs. I really loved the vibe of the place and I thought to myself, if you would like to live with entrepreneurs you should be able to find a place with entrepreneurs with the click of a few buttons. Or you might be passionate about sport or love cooking so you should be able to easily find housemates with those passions.”
Why has the company been successful?
”It is still early days for RooMigo but we are delighted with the incredibly positive feedback we have had from our members since our beta launch in Dublin last year. RooMigo resonates with our members because it is a very authentic people-focused platform and we are very passionate about what we do. We spend a lot of time listening to our users. For example, we run community events to which our members are invited. These are fun events where people can make new friends or meet potential roommates, but it also gives us an opportunity to meet our community and learn from them.”
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What has been the biggest challenge?
”It’s a long journey and you will suffer setbacks along the way. I moved to Dublin full-time in June 2017, but we didn’t launch the product until June 2018. Getting through that year was a challenge because I began to wonder if I would ever get a product out. It is so important to stay focused on the bigger goal and not give up.”
What is your team structure like?
”We have a small team with a bunch of incredible young people helping us. We encourage people to take on as much responsibility as possible and not to be afraid of failure. If you make a mistake, it’s probably not a big deal, you learn from the mistake and move on.”
What advice would you give to someone applying for a startup job?
”If you are applying for a job in a startup you should be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment and you need to be very flexible. The startup life is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, it can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding job.”
How do you measure success?
”When you are adding value in your job and enjoying your life, that’s success.”
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How do you promote sustainability in your organisation?
”The welfare of our team, how we treat our community and how we behave as a business is very important to me. It is crucial that our team are always learning, enjoying themselves in the workplace and that they have a good work-life balance.
”We have been very lucky to have attracted some amazing people who really enjoy working with us. For example, most of our former interns still come to our events or stay in touch with me.
”When you are bootstrapping a company, finances are tight so we really depend on the goodwill of our team, advisers and the RooMigo community to succeed. I am incredibly grateful to all these people. As the company grows we will remain very community focused, I also hope to be able to encourage or help other entrepreneurs starting on their journey.”
What is the one thing you wish people knew about your business?
”Scammers are running rampant and defrauding millions of people around the world. RooMigo connects compatible housemates but we are also incredibly motivated to combat fraud and make RooMigo a safe place for people to find housemates.”
What does the future hold for RooMigo?
”I’m very excited about the future and the positive change RooMigo can bring to the rental industry not just in Ireland, but globally. I have to continue fighting every day to ensure that the change we want to bring to the rental industry becomes a reality.”
What is your ultimate ambition?
”I want RooMigo to be a global company. It is one of these incredibly rare, once in a lifetime companies with a globally scalable model. It can help millions of people connect with the right housemates and change an industry for the better.”