Stage: Revenue generating
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/uroomsurf-com
URoomSurf is a college roommate matching and social networking website that services college-bound high school seniors, and current college students looking for compatible roommates for on or off-campus housing. Tens of thousands of students are currently using URoomSurf because it provides a platform to network with classmates and pick their own roommates, when there has yet to be such a platform.
Students that need a roommate simply create a profile on the website, and answer a series of questions related to roommate compatibility that calculates a match percentage for all students attending the same school. This creates a means for students to quickly identify their top matches so that they can spend more time getting to know them, and less time looking for them through other means.
The big picture here is to use URoomSurf.com as a way to transition our primary user base into new services that these students can use throughout their college career. We will captivate this audience so that we can monetize them from the day they receive a college acceptance letter through the day they graduate and go into the work force.
February 1st, 2010: URoomSurf.com Launched
March 1st, 2010: URoomSurf.com reached 20,000 registered members, 69,000 unique visitors, 3.5 million page views.
URoomSurf business model is based on a "freemium" system, where students can take advantage of absic features for free, and pay for premium features.
We also have a large, targeted user base with approximately 3.5 million page views per month which will attract advertising.
We are first to market as a social network for college roommate matching, and this has allowed us to grow and take market share with little to no competition.
Some of our competitors license roommate matching software to colleges and universities, but have learned how slow and difficult the process can be to get each university to buy into the system. Each school wants their own custom solution, and can find hundreds of security issues that need to be addressed, which takes a lot of development. These companies usually can get between $5 and $10k per school per year, but the economics are unfavorable when you factor in the cost of developing custom solutions for each university client. Our thought is to create a demand for our services in the higher ed. market by showing that students want and are already using our system. We hope to provide tools for university housing departments that wish to manage their networks on URoomSurf to facilitate roommate pairing.
Colleges are pretty slow in terms of adopting new technologies, where students have been early adopters. We avoid dealing with the academic bureaucracy of selling directly to schools by targeting the 1.5 million college-bound high school seniors in the United States. This way, the user base is not limited to what schools are affiliated with us which allows us to provide service to any student in the country.