Business Spotlight: Roommate Finder
FAU Tech Runway Venture Class Company Helps Graduates Find Best Match
By Bethany Augliere
As graduation day approaches, college seniors might be wondering how they’ll find a compatible roommate in a new town, all the while moving and starting a new job. The free mobile app, Roomaters, makes that process easier and less stressful, said owner Aaron Caplan.
Officially founded in 2019 by Caplan, Roomaters uses matching technology and assistance from a relationship psychologist to help people find a suitable roommate. “With today's successful dating apps that are more focused on compatibility, there's no reason why there shouldn't be something similar in the roommate space,” Caplan said. “You're not dating a roommate, but then again, you're living with them.”
Since launching, more than 14,000 have used the app, with the majority of those being in South Florida, Caplan said. However, he said he hopes to grow the app across the country and is also currently still in the fundraising stage, searching for investors. That’s why he applied to the FAU Tech Runway Venture Class 9 Launch Competition, which has helped initiate connections, facilitate travel to conferences and meetings with investors, and generally providing mentorship.
Most people find a roommate through a recommendation from a friend, or live with a friend, he said. “But just because you're a good friend with somebody, doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be the best fit as a roommate for you.” Caplan experienced this himself as a college student and then moving around to new cities as a young adult after graduating, living at times with friends or even complete strangers and coming across a variety of issues. For years I had this thought, “there should be a better solution.”
Caplan began formally thinking of the business in 2017, and spent a couple years doing market research and working with developers for the matching technology and app development. Along with his business partner, he came up with a few key points that would be important when considering someone to live with, such as personality, living habits, and interests and hobbies. The result is a lengthier profile process for users, Caplan said. Once the profile is complete, matches are ranked in order of compatibility. “We take out a lot of the research side of things, because we make it more convenient by ranking people and then highlighting the common answers.”
“I think the door is wide open here,” Caplan said. “With a little bit of capital and guidance, I think Roomaters could quickly scale and go across the country and make a name for ourselves in a short amount of time.”
Check out the Roomaters app at roomaters.com.
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