Looking for apartment or room-mate? Homie’s got your back
By Digital News Asia December 5, 2013
- Second venture from the same team behind BillPin, an expense-tracking app
- Soft-launched in October and already has more than 5,000 visitors monthly
SINGAPORE-based startup BillPin Pte Ltd, which developed an app that allows friends to track and split group expenses, has launched its second venture: Homie, an online apartment and roommate search service.
The site comes with a strong focus on maps, photos and social components, BillPin said in a statement. Users browse apartments/ rooms available, or the list of individuals looking for accommodation.
When looking for accommodation, users search and filter options by neighbourhood, visually on a map that shows nearby amenities. They can also check out commuter advice, such as best route and time taken from a selected accommodation to another location.
Details on roommate preference are displayed, such as gender, occupation, children or smoker, as well as other information, such as whether cooking or pets are allowed. When searching for roommates, users view a description on individuals looking for accommodation, their monthly budget, and roommate preference.
Homie also provides unique features, such as verifying users’ profiles and giving users context of their social fit such as by displaying their common Facebook friends, BillPin said.
“Having lived with roommates for the past 20 years, I know finding the right apartment and roommates can be incredibly difficult. We created Homie because we believe that finding an awesome place to call home should be easy,” said Homie cofounder and chief executive officer Darius Cheung.
Homie was soft-launched in October and already has more than 5,000 visitors monthly, 1,000 unique and updated listings with a strong 15% growth weekly, he claimed.
“Homie is currently focusing on the Singapore market, as we want to build up our user base and establish a trusted community of people, together with genuine, accurate and up-to-date listings,” Cheung said.
His other cofounders are Saurabh Mandar, Ruiwen Chua, Anuj Bheda and Conor McLaughlin. The team first came together in 2012 to develop the BillPin mobile app.
Homie is a natural progression, the company said, since the team had already built a large user base since most of its users are individuals renting accommodation.
BillPin is supported by NUS Enterprise, the venture capital and entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore, and the Interactive Digital Media Program, which is funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
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