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When I was looking for an apartment in New York, I found several that were in my price range, but there was always some weird little quirk that came with each one. One apartment smelled like shoes. Another apartment didn’t work out because the bedroom turned out to be the attic crawl space. And then there was another one that I wanted but didn’t try to get because I’m pretty sure the super had cameras hidden in the walls. Long story short, I settled for a brownstone in Brooklyn where the bedroom was once a landing that had been boarded up with particle board.
Apartment hunting is complicated enough—especially in a major metro area like NYC or San Francisco. Factor in crappy listing sites that barely give you any information, and you’ve got yourself a sad weekend of apartment hunting ahead of you. A new site, Zumper, offers a much more efficient alternative, and the company announced Thursday that it has raised $1 million in a seed round that features some pretty impressive names, including Kleiner Perkins; Andreessen Horowitz; Greylock; CrunchFund; NEA; Dawn Capital; The Experiment Fund; and the DeWilde family trust.
The site has a lot to offer the prospective tenant. While sites like Craigslist and Rent.com let you narrow down results by city and price, Zumper lets you take a hyper-local approach, so (assuming you’re somewhat familiar with the area) you can actually search for apartments via an interactive map that instantly shows you the neighborhood in which the apartment is located, the price, a street view of the immediate area, and the meat and potatoes, like how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
The site’s inventory updates in real-time using data feeds and partnerships with landlords, brokers, and property managers. The site also offers a News Feed, which is more or less the Twitter for apartment rentals. CEO Anth Georgiades tells me that that’s where users are spending most of their time, following neighborhoods and checking in on new listings.
“Because everything is in real-time, our inventory base changes by the minute. But in only our second week of public beta we had over 2,000 direct active listings in New York, and a rapidly growing inventory list in San Francisco, to which we are adding daily,” said Anth.
The company plans to use the new funds from this round to boost expansion, build out its engineering team, and continue rapid product development. Right now, the site is limited to New York City and San Francisco, but Anth says that Zumper will be adding three new cities in the near future, so stay tuned.
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