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RentRoomi To Enter New York, London, and Hong Kong Currently, the start-up allows people to list a room or an entire property on the platform and only charges once tenants have moved in

By Prasannata Patwa

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After OYO Rooms, Rajasthan-based listing platform Rentroomi plans to enter New York, London, and Hong Kong in a bid to tap new monetization models, according to a top company executive.

Currently, the start-up allows people to list a room or an entire property on the platform and only charges once tenants have moved in. Apart from landlords, tenants can also find roommates by mentioning details including rent, area and available facilities, similar to multiple "Flat and Flatmates" groups on Facebook.

"When we compare Bengaluru with New York, the American rental market is pretty organized. For instance, if I provide a verified roommate and start charging for it no one would pay. But the same thing works in developed markets," said Nitin Sharma, founder, RentRoomi.

Owned by 9194 Host Venture, the house-sharing start-up was founded in 2016 by Sharma, a computer science graduate from Rajasthan Technical University.

With about 12 employees, the start-up is fully operational in Bengaluru, Jaipur, and Pune, among two more domestic cities. Hospitality and co-living platforms including Ritesh Aggarwal-run OYO Rooms (Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd) are also partners on the platform.

Working professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to find accommodation. With increasing real estate prices in megacities, including Mumbai, across India, shared accommodation becomes a safe haven for youngsters.

Co-living spaces, including Bengaluru-based Zolo Stays, and Delhi-based Coho, house-sharing platform Nestaway, and OYO Living, OYO's home rental vertical are a few spaces, among many others, which have developed in less than seven years.

But even with more than 30 million young population generating revenue, it has been a difficult task for most of these platforms.

People have been renting apartments in India for the longest time but not in formats offered by these start-ups. Co-living or community living offers shared or private rooms and common spaces including kitchen, play area, and dining area. Finding roommates on the Internet is also a format not widely accepted. Major chunk of funds goes into developing and maintaining these properties, while also investing in marketing campaigns.

In January, Softbank-backed OYO Rooms, which is restructuring itself, fired thousands of employees across India and China, citing non-performance as the issue. The company dropped about 600 employees in China and more than 1,000 staff members domestically.

RentRoomi, majorly bootstrapped, is also planning to develop its own co-living properties.

Prasannata Patwa

Entrepreneur Staff


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