You might know room rental platform Badi from its campaign in the metro of your European city, or because a friend has downloaded the application to find their next roommate.
Today, the Barcelona-based proptech startup has announced it has hit more than 300K room rental listings in four major European cities (London, Barcelona, Berlin and Madrid), and plans to hop across the pond to the US later this year, launching first in New York City.
In the US, the Badi team will apply its insights on soaring European rents, and how to respond to the needs of tenants in such an oversaturated market. Carlos Pierre, CEO, said ”Our EU community has become a crucial part of our business and we look forward to expanding into new markets, making those cities more accessible and accommodating to the way people live today.”
Founded in 2015, Badi’s mission is to make city-living affordable and accessible. Its AI-driven platform provides a seamless way for people to find and rent rooms in major cities. Via its success in Europe, it has gathered a few insights about the rental market, including that London is the fastest growing hub for flat seekers, that it typically takes 1 week for a room to get rented, and that users have an average stage of 5.5 months (28% longer than its competitors). Additionally, for the animal fans, around 11% of Badi listings are marked as ‘pet-friendly’, meaning that pet-owners can easily find their next home.
Security and verification are a topic that Badi also takes seriously, with users going through a visual verification, and being able to chat via a secure inbox and reject requests, without having to share personal information. In addition, all conversations are recorded in written form and corroborated by Badi if needed, and tenants can pay via a secure platform. Other safety features include last-minute cancellation, early departure, and damage coverage for landlords.
“User security and trust are important to us because room-rental marketplaces like Badi and Airbnb face a number of challenges like ensuring customer safety and the question of who is responsible,” said Carlos Pierre, CEO of Badi. “At Badi, we’re excited about the great strides we’re making with our booking system and aim to create a more transparent experience for all present and future parties.”
Badi has the support of US and international investors, including Spark Capital and Mangrove Capital, with their last round of funding in January 2019 hitting around €27 million. They also spoke last year at the EU-Startups Summit, about the rise of the flat rental market. From the beginning of 2018, to the end of 2019, the Badi team has seen 150% growth, adding 75 new employees, with more likely expected to join alongside their international expansion in New York.