Comfy Raises $600K in Seed Funding to Disrupt Billion Dollar Student Housing Market
Austin-based Startup Empowers University Students With Better Rental Experiences
AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comfy, the rental marketplace that lets students discover and secure the right housing, has announced an initial $600,000 round of seed funding led by Mike Lee, partner at Dominion Ventures. Austin Ventures and a variety of other prominent angel investors also contributed to the round. Comfy has developed an intuitive mobile and web platform that uses a proprietary algorithm to leverage online feedback and intelligently match college and university students with their best matches for off-campus housing.
“We see a very promising opportunity in the poorly served off campus student housing market.”
In addition to Mike Lee and Austin Ventures, a world-class team of angel investors have contributed capital, including: former Brocade Communication Systems CEO and founder of Rhapsody Networks Mike Klayko, former Skull Candy CEO Jeremy Andrus, Mark Harris, Jared Stone, and others. Investors’ portfolios and past investments include HomeAway, Hotmail, Outbound Engine, Tivoli, Mortgage.com, among others.
The Austin-headquartered startup plans to use the initial capital to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the rapidly growing student housing market and to scale into select geographic markets.
Comfy: A Digital Middleman Between Students & Landlords
“We feel fortunate to have the caliber of investors we were able to attract. With their backing Comfy is disrupting a fragmented and opaque market with a mobile app and website targeted at student renters,” said Comfy Co-Founder and CEO Jordan Wright. “Due to the niche nature of off campus student housing in the multi-family industry, the student population is served complicated products that aren’t a good fit for their specific needs, which are quite different from the normal multi-family renter. We’re using trending technologies, a new business model, and a little bit of our own secret sauce to solve this problem. This seed financing gives us the opportunity to take our innovations to the next level in this large, yet underserved market.”
Focused exclusively on the student renter experience, Comfy is the digital middleman between students and landlords, guaranteeing students a response to every inquiry they send via Comfy. In comparison, students may send 20 or 30 inquiries on other websites and only receive 2 or 3 responses back. Reviews are also tightly integrated into the listings on Comfy to give student renters more information in one place.
Before raising this round, Comfy focused on a single geographic market for 10 months. Within that 10-month time frame, Comfy achieved 30 percent market penetration in a location with 50,000+ university students and two universities.
Student Housing Demand Fueling Rapid Growth
In February 2014, Comfy began to expand to a few additional universities around the country. In March website traffic tripled. Traffic continues to climb and it is anticipated to further skyrocket through the rest of the summer months as students continue to search for a place to live for the Fall semester. Recent upgrades, including Android and iOS mobile responsive sites and the continued success of the Comfy iPhone app, continue to drive user adoption and engagement with Comfy.
“My past experience with Jordan showed me his tenacity for getting an early stage company off the ground,” said Mike Lee, a lead investor in Comfy. “We see a very promising opportunity in the poorly served off campus student housing market.”
To learn more about Comfy, visit RentComfy.com.
To download the Comfy iPhone app, click here.
Based in Austin, Comfy is a student rental marketplace that lets students easily find their ideal housing situation, online and from any device. Comfy matches up students with landlords and property managers within hours, and guarantees a 24-hour response time. It is the simplest, most effective way for students to find the right housing, quickly and transparently. Investors include Dominion Ventures, Austin Ventures, Northgate Capital and Garrison Point Capital. Visit rentcomfy.com for more information.