Changing The Way We Live, 6 PropTechs at a Time

It’s with great pleasure that Pi Labs can officially announce the launch of our seventh pre-seed growth programme, welcoming six new proptech companies into our family. We’ve been managing these programmes since we launched in 2015 and it is always exciting to welcome the new teams.

Our team at Pi Labs spent months reviewing just under 400 applications and we enjoyed hearing some ground-breaking ideas from teams all over the world. When deciding who to bring in to this cohort, we considered a wide range of factors including the founders themselves, unique value propositions and early traction. We have backed innovations in areas which we feel particularly passionate about – democratising property ownership, well-being in the built environment and automation.

I’m happy that this is our most diverse cohort yet with founders from 8 different countries, spanning 5 continents. At Pi Labs we’ve looked to expand our support to other emerging proptech hubs around the world and this cohort is a reflection of that global focus. I’m also pleased to report that 33% of the cohort have female founders. At Pi Labs, we are strong believers that diversity fuels innovation so we’re eager to see the outputs of a group with a wealth of experience and a variety of perspectives.

We are ready to start working with the new founders on achieving the ambitious goals they have set for themselves. We also look forward to sharing both the successes and challenges of the companies and building strong relationships with each of the fantastic individuals in the group.

But enough about us, I give you the stars of the show, Pi Labs Cohort 7:

  • CRIBZ helps real estate developers automate and optimise their sales process. The platform sends the right message, to the right buyer, at the right time by using artificial intelligence and conversational design to guide buyers through each step of the process.
  • Decology is a personalised home design platform centred around a 3D digital twin of a client’s home. The platform provides consumers with the tools and expertise to visually design their homes and enables retailers to market and showcase their products in situ.
  • GroupLadder empowers friends to buy homes together. GroupLadder not only provides the mortgages needed, but also takes care of the complexity of transacting and owning as a group.
    Pop & Rest offers people in large cities peaceful and private spaces that allow them to disconnect from busy places, such as airports, train stations and workplaces.
  • Pop & Rest offers people in large cities peaceful and private spaces that allow them to disconnect from busy places, such as airports, train stations and workplaces.
  • RenterBuyer helps renters become homeowners without a large mortgage deposit or traditional credit scoring. A unique rent-to-buy solution allows buyers to purchase an affordable fraction of their home upfront; pay rent on the portion not yet owned, whilst purchasing more equity monthly (part-buy, part-rent) until they own outright.
  • TRACK is the dashboard for homeowners – managing property finances simply, beautifully and in one place. The platform gathers the value of your home and mortgage balance, takes into account other stakeholders, then displays all the info on a personalised dashboard.

As part of our work with the 6 companies, we have an array of mentors and speakers ready to roll up their sleeves and work with them to accelerate their growth. If you would also like to support any of the teams, please reach out to me directly and I will happily facilitate.

The programme will run for 15 weeks until Friday 24th May, when the cohort will present their businesses to an audience of investors, founders, alumni, and journalists.

I wish each of the new cohort members the very best of luck over the next four months. Make us proud!

By Raya Yunakova, Programme Director, Pi Labs

Mapping the future of logistics

This week, Pi Labs is proud to release its first white paper of 2018. We chose to focus our research on the logistics industry, setting out to examine its role in defining the property and real estate of tomorrow. You can download a free PDF copy of the white paper in full here:

Pi Labs – Future of Logistics Document

From transporting iron across Wales on the world’s first cargo trains in the 1800s to the global operations of Amazon’s automated warehouses, the logistics industry has continually been shaped and reshaped by new technologies throughout its life. Today, it’s an interesting area for household-name tech companies and ambitious new faces alike to battle it out for a piece of the innovation pie.

When we decided to deep-dive into logistics to enhance our understanding, we knew that there were a lot of organisations already gathering useful data and conducting important research. But we were surprised to discover little in the way of insight and analysis focused on knowledge-sharing between different industry sectors, plus only a small body of work speaking to people involved on the ground.

In this white paper, we hope to help fill that gap and to contribute ideas that will offer value for logistics and real estate professionals alike, as well as for investors, entrepreneurs and technologists more widely. Recognising the connections between industries and the opportunities those connections represent will enable companies to excel faster, learn from one another, and solve problems more effectively.

We’d like to thank the teams at Flexe and Glue Home for their contributions to this piece of research, as well as to McKinsey & Company, PwC, EY, and UPS, whose reports and data sets were crucial in bringing this white paper to life. We look forward to collaborating with tastemakers and disrupters to offer insights into other industries and subject areas later in the year.


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Pi Labs Cohort 5 

We are excited to kick off the fifth programme of the Pi Labs Accelerator! Four new companies joined us on Monday 10 July for an intense 13 weeks of hard work that will help them scale their businesses and achieve their goals.

You can read more about the companies below. If you wish to get in touch with any of them or you feel your skills and experience can contribute to their success in the form of mentorship, give us a shout at and we’ll happily connect you.

Grab a Gardener – the online marketplace connecting you to the best local gardeners is the UK’s leading platform for customers to book and pay securely online for a trusted and experienced, vetted gardener. Customers can choose a date and time that suits them and pay a flat hourly rate for all garden maintenance services. After a successful launch in Berkshire in April 2016 Grab a Gardener quickly expanded across the South of England and now offer all garden services from technical garden design to landscaping projects.

ShareDining – removes barriers to entry for food businesses by helping them access flexible, affordable commercial kitchen space

One of the biggest problems facing the 50,000 new food businesses each year is access to commercial kitchen space. ShareDining helps solve this problem by giving food businesses access to unused kitchen capacity in venues such as restaurants, bars, cafes and schools. User businesses get access to flexible, affordable, on-demand commercial kitchen space and host businesses access an additional revenue stream.

Unified Technologies – the on-demand mobile Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform for the entire hotel operation.

Unified is a mobile first Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform for the entire hotel operation. The Unified turnkey solution provides guests with personalised on-demand service that can be accessed anytime, anyplace across a hotel. Unified ensures the nearest available staff member will fulfil the request so a guest is never kept waiting.

Unified provides real-time visibility of employees and connects guest requests to staff across the entire property. A robust analytics suite visualises service performance metrics and guest-centric insights at a granular level, providing hotel management with a Unified view of guest and staff interactions across the property(s).

UnitPal – the complexity of property and revenue management made easy

UnitPal works for you, whether you have a few or more rooms, never used a property management system before or tried them all. No installations needed, no manuals to read. Create your beds, rooms, prices and packages, and you’re all set to make reservations, send confirmations, check-in guests and issue invoices.
UnitPal systematises and organises all transactional and operational activity, and provides management a detailed overview of the property at any time, from anywhere. UnitPal tracks and displays past, present and future data of your hotel, needed to ensure selling the right product to the right customer, at the right time to the right price.


Pi Labs forms strategic partnership with CBRE

Europe’s first proptech-focused venture capital investor, Pi (Property Innovation) Labs, has formed a strategic business relationship with CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company.

The business relationship focuses on the mutual exchange of property industry expertise and insights into the emerging trends and developments in the rapidly growing proptech sector. Both parties will work closely together on mentorship opportunities with start-ups within Pi Lab’s renowned proptech accelerator programme, starting with the next cohort to join in January 2017.

Pi Labs was launched in October 2014 and has since gone on to support 16 successful proptech start-ups, in areas including planning, social housing and office management. A three-month bi-annual programme provides funding, mentoring and office space for a select cohort of new start-ups.

In addition to providing an accelerator programme, Pi Labs now represents Europe’s only venture capital platform providing investment exclusively in proptech companies that are at seed to Series A stage and are looking to take the next step in their evolution.

Ciaran Bird, Managing Director of CBRE in UK said: “Our relationship with Pi Labs allows us to be at the forefront of proptech, and helps us to identify emerging technologies for the benefit of our clients and the property sector as a whole. Pi Labs has evolved rapidly since its inception and can now provide us with a unique view of the trends and new proptech innovations for all aspects of the real estate sector.”

Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Pi Labs, said: “Our strategic relationship with CBRE in the UK will allow a fantastic cross-fertilisation of property sector insights and the very latest trends and innovations in proptech. We are delighted to welcome CBRE to our stable of top tier supporters.”

In April this year, the Pi Labs Accelerator announced a new joint venture partnership with pioneering property start-up The Collective, where the latest accelerator programme is also housed at No. 14, Bedford Square, London. Pi Labs recently announced a strategic funding partnership with Bosa Ventures, the VC arm of Bosa Properties – the largest luxury residential developer in Canada, so that start-ups coming through its accelerator programme will now have access to £100,000 in funding.

Why Join the Pi Labs Programme?

As we gear up for our next accelerator programme I thought it would be useful to write about what happens during the programme and what start-ups can expect to get out of it.

First Week – Understanding Their Vision

In the first week we go through why the founders have chosen to start their particular business and what they want their companies to look like in the short and long term. We want to be sure that not only do the entrepreneurs have a clear understanding of what gets them out of bed every morning, and what will pull them through the tough times that they will inevitably face, but also who they are selling to, why their products are needed and why they don’t exist already. This prepares the companies for the sessions in the weeks to come.

Second Week – Mentor Sessions

The second week gives the companies a chance to describe their businesses and business challenges to seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and potential customers from the property industry. This initial feedback is invaluable as the companies build and refine their business model and product. The Pi Labs accelerator is supported by an  incredible, and ever growing, group of mentors that are interested in proptech and love working with our companies.

“Pi Labs has been truly fantastic. The program gave us breathing space to build our product and develop our business in the perfect environment. The openness and support of the partner companies has been incredible. We’ve been introduced to a huge range of relevant companies that otherwise would have taken us months to forge relationships with. The mentors brought in are top level CEOs that we’ve remained in constant contact with and have offered the kind of knowledge you only get through years/ often decades of experience. The combination of these things truly has accelerated our business.”

Jonny Britton, Land Insight

Weeks Three to Twelve – Workshops, Speakers and Goal Setting

After the second week we jump into our standard programme schedule. Each week we bring in experts to host workshops on topics like marketing, building a sales team, pricing, user testing, development, and current property market conditions to name a few. We also bring in seasoned entrepreneurs once a week, and over food and drinks, they talk about their challenges and successes as an entrepreneur.

Every Friday the Pi Labs team catches up with each accelerator company individually and helps them set weekly goals, checks back on the last week’s goals, and discusses current challenges faced and introductions required. Following these meetings we schedule in additional mentor sessions or make ad-hoc introductions to relevant property professionals.

Week 13 – Demo Day

The last few weeks of the programme are dedicated to ensuring the companies’ investment materials are in order and practicing for demo day; which, is held on the second last day of the programme. On demo day we bring together mentors, investors (both VCs and Angels ) and give them a chance to listen to the teams pitch and chat with the teams casually after the formal presentations.

“Starting a new business is an intense challenge which takes more than good team, hard work and reading the Lean startup book. You also need the right partners and a bit of luck. At Office R&D, we had the chance to find the right investor and partner. Pi Labs gave us everything that a starting business might need – from the initial steps of relocating to the U.K. to incredible amount of introductions and thoughtful mentorship. For 3 months we had the opportunity to meet with huge range of experienced executives, mentors, partners, potential customers and like-minded entrepreneurs. This not just helped us but truly shaped our product, solution and us as entrepreneurs.”

Miroslav Miroslavov, OfficeR&D

What should a company expect out of the Pi Labs programme?

Product Feedback and User Testing

The mentor sessions and introductions we make throughout the programme give the start-ups a chance to speak with their potential customers to get feedback and ensure that they are both targeting the right segment and building the right features. Some of these sessions and ad-hoc introductions also lead to user testing.

Relevant Advise

We take the time to get to know the entrepreneurs and their companies in great detail so that we can bring in the right mentors at the right time. We have created a general programme to ensure the companies hear from mentors specialising in all areas of business but we also tailor some of the sessions to the companies in the cohort. Whatever your challenge, we have a mentor for that. In addition, the Pi Labs team has extensive experience across the property, technology and investment industries and draws on both its expertise and network to provide daily support to the start-ups.

Investor Ready

We work intensively with the companies to ensure that their financials, pitch decks, and executive summaries are complete, concise and make sense. We also help them understand the current investment conditions and are a sounding board as the companies go through their investment rounds.

When a company joins the Pi Labs accelerator programme they become part of the Pi Labs family. We celebrate successes and go through their challenges with them. We have seen how this support helps speed up the start-ups’ growth and we look forward to expanding our portfolio and working with more great companies. We are still accepting applications for our fourth accelerator programme so apply now if you are a proptech start-up looking to accelerator your business. We look forward to hearing about the innovative ideas that are set to change the property industry.

Pi Labs enters into a strategic funding partnership with Bosa Ventures

Pi Labs partners with major Canadian luxury real estate development company to facilitate North American expansion for its portfolio companies

Property Innovation Labs (Pi Labs), Europe’s first proptech-focused VC, has entered into a strategic funding partnership for its accelerator programme with Bosa Ventures, the investment arm of one of Canada’s most respected property firms – Bosa Properties, to further its reach globally and create many more opportunities for its cohorts in North America and beyond.

Pi Labs was launched in October 2014 and has since gone on to support 16 successful property technology start-ups, in areas from planning, to social housing and office management. The three-month bi-annual programme provides funding, mentoring and inspiring office space for the most exciting new wave of ‘proptech’ start-ups. In April, the Pi Labs Accelerator announced a new joint venture partnership with pioneering property start-up The Collective, where the latest accelerator programme is also housed at No 14, Bedford Square, London. Last week, five teams comprising the most recent cohort of Pi Labs presented to a room of over 150 investors, seeking seed investment from £500,000 to £1,000,000.

PiLabs_180516 354

Bosa Properties is one of largest luxury real estate development companies in North America with a presence in both Canada and the US. Bosa owns, is actively developing, or has transacted in excess of $5B CDN of property assets. Pi Labs will have a strategic partnership with their VC arm, Bosa Ventures, which will provide additional funding via a SAFE or convertible note for Pi Labs companies to extend their runway or close out an existing funding round as they exit the programme. Perhaps more importantly, the cohorts will now have a gateway to North America to both test their products as well as have a partner for North American expansion.

This means cohort companies have access to £100,000 of funding through the accelerator programme before they potentially raise their seed round. All cohort companies will be eligible, though it will be at Pi Labs’ discretion and recommendation to determine which companies should receive the funds. Following on from success stories such as Switchee, Airsorted and Propoly in previous programmes, the teams in Programme 4, which starts in October, will be the first cohort to benefit from Bosa’s involvement..

Colin Bosa, Chairman of Bosa Properties commented on the new partnership that “Our alignment with Pi Labs will allow us both to be on the forefront of new frontiers of proptech, while leveraging the multiple streams of innovation we already have underway in the field of property development and construction”.

Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Pi Labs, said of this partnership that, “We are delighted to partner with Bosa Ventures; it’s an incredible opportunity for the start-ups financially and also in terms of global reach. We now also have a close link to North America and a partner to help our companies roll out into those markets. In financial terms, our programme is now one of most competitive in the world and we will continue to source the very best talent and companies from across the globe as a result. And crucially for Pi Labs, it’s also a ringing endorsement for the programme we have built here in London and quality of companies we have coming through. That said, we still believe we have areas to improve upon and we believe Bosa Ventures has a crucial role to play in that process.

Applications for Pi Labs’ Cohort four are open. Apply now at


A Note to Our Investors, Partners & Portfolio Companies

The last few weeks have created a sense of uncertainty and chaos, as politicians grapple with the reality of the Referendum result. The implications for the UK are far reaching and every industry, without fail, will feel the winds of change.

The Tech industry is no different and we have received numerous requests from media, investors, and portfolio companies as to what we feel the future holds. This note is a specific address to that question, now that we have had the time to properly reflect on and digest this new environment we find ourselves in.

At a basic level, there are two macro factors affecting tech. The first is an attitude to risk. In volatile markets, there tends to be flight to safe haven assets such as gold or gilts. Venture has always been the sharp end of the stick from a portfolio point of view – high risk with very high rewards on offer. Given the volatility in the equity and bonds markets, allocation to venture may well suffer due to the denominator effect, especially in institutional portfolios. However, what is also true is that venture now represents a better investment proposition than ever before. The ecosystem in Europe is increasingly more mature, there are more funds supporting early stage companies than previously and you have a cooperative public sector in terms of state support. Further, compared to more stable asset classes such as equities, bonds and even real estate, venture is now a better risk-adjusted investment offering: it is still high risk of course, but these alternative “secure” asset classes have become more volatile recently, yet without the prospect of higher returns.

The second factor is the status of London as the pre-eminent tech hub in Europe. There have been plenty of other European cities putting their hands up in the last few weeks in order to lure start-ups away. But it is not happenstance that London is at the epicentre of this industry in Europe. It has a rare blend of finance, industry, creativity and arts & culture that serves as a perfect petri dish for innovation and technology. This combination has been years, if not decades, in the making and is not something that other cities can just replicate at a click of a button. Yet it’s the cultural diversity in the capital that is the key ingredient in making this possible and we must work together to ensure that it is preserved. There can be no room for complacency.

Pi Labs is clearly also influenced by the direct impact on the real estate industry. The last week has seen some panic seep into the sector with the closing of various open-ended property funds. Yet, our research and feedback tell us that investors had become circumspect about the pricing in the UK property market well in advance of the Brexit vote. Many felt that the market had become overheated with the influx of foreign capital and as such they had become sellers, not buyers. Indeed, a number of these investors have chosen to invest with us to switch their focus from real estate to tech, albeit with a close nexus to their core sector.

Pi Labs is a global investor in proptech and as such our investment remit extends far beyond the issues surrounding Brexit and the EU. We continue to see proprietary dealflow from Asia and the US; indeed we are in due diligence on two deals in these regions.

Regardless of geography, dislocation in the underlying real estate markets is a boon for proptech companies as it forces asset holders, investors, and owners to be creative in their search for yield and/or value. Property companies and investors will be forced to use new tools to deliver better returns – and technology will be at the front of the queue in terms of the methodologies that will meet this need.

Great companies will thrive in any environment; indeed Uber and Airbnb were both formed in the last recession post the GFC. US based Matterport’s acquisition of Virtual Walkthrough is testament to the enduring quality of the proptech market in the UK, despite recent events. Our portfolio companies all have the potential to be great – that is why we backed them in the first place. Pi Labs remains committed to investing in and supporting the proptech ecosystem and that applies as much to our existing stable of early stage ventures as it does to prospective start-ups seeking investment.

We are very much open for business: we have capital to deploy through our new Fund; continue to make seed investments such as Plentific and are now welcoming and receiving applications for our 4th accelerator programme which starts in January 2017.

The journey may be more precipitous and we must all, together, be vigilant as a result. But we have complete confidence that we are all up for the challenge: We look forward to continuing this journey with you.


Dominic Wilson
Managing Partner

Joint Venture Partner For Pi Labs’ Accelerator Programme



 Europe’s first property technology (proptech) focused accelerator will be based in The Collective’s Bedford Square HQ

LONDON, 07 APRIL, 2016 – Pi (Property Innovation) Labs – Europe’s first proptech-focused venture capital platform, has brought onboard the pioneering property start-up The Collective as a joint venture partner for the Pi Labs Accelerator; its ground breaking pre-seed investment programme for proptech startups.

From this week, the Pi Labs Accelerator will move into a vibrant co-working space at 14 Bedford Square, The Collective’s headquarters. The move comes as Pi Labs repositions from being solely an accelerator programme to a Venture Capital platform investing in early stage ventures seeking funding from pre-seed stage to Series A. With this platform expansion, Pi Labs is partnering with innovative individuals and companies for different areas of its business. The first of these is a JV partnership between the Pi Labs Accelerator and The Collective.

Already home to a number of the UK’s leading proptech start-ups, 14 Bedford Square counts progressive interior designers DH Liberty and BamBambi among its members as well as online property auctioneer Bamboo Auctions and residential property developer IV Property.

The Pi Labs Accelerator was launched to identify, mentor, and accelerate high-calibre start-up ventures which have the passion and ability to create scalable businesses that will disrupt the property industry, and has helped launch, fund and mentor ten successful businesses since 2014.

The Collective itself is one of the most innovative property firms in the UK and operates a number of co-living and co-working spaces across the capital.

Positioning London at the forefront of the global co-living revolution, The Collective has built a 550-bed community-driven residential concept – the largest of its kind in the world – that will launch in May and offer Londoners a completely new way of living.

The 11-storey development will also house 400 entrepreneurs in a co-working space that will open in September 2016. Pi Labs will have the option of using this co-working space to tap-into the site’s community of entrepreneurs.

Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Pi Labs, said: “There is a lot of obvious synergy between Pi Labs and The Collective – both are young, visionary organisations helping shape the future of the property industry. Reza is an excellent example of a young property entrepreneur who has built a large business and this is exactly the sort of experience our accelerator companies can benefit from. We are scaling our operations to invest in more small and growing proptech companies; we see this as the perfect physical space and surrounding environment to help us reach that goal.”

The next cohort of start-ups for the Pi Labs accelerator programme will be announced this month.

Reza Merchant, CEO of The Collective, said: “We’re excited to welcome Pi Labs to The Collective. Pi Labs’ vision of disrupting the property market very much aligns with the innovative nature of our own business – it’s also a natural fit with our existing community of proptech startups at 14 Bedford Square. We’re looking forward to nurturing the next wave of companies which have the potential to transform the property market.”

Apart from providing space for the Pi Labs Accelerator, The Collective will also offer mentoring to start-ups on the programme alongside access to a series of business-centric events and talks which will take place at 14 Bedford Square throughout the year.

About The Collective

Established in 2010, The Collective is a property company with a new perspective. The pioneering London-based startup aims to change the way people can choose to live by creating places that reflect and respond to the evolving needs, aspirations and identities of people.

The Collective collaborates with people to create places. It actively manages each site on a day-to-day basis, staying involved and building real communities for its members. In May 2016, The Collective’s flagship co-living site will open in Old Oak. It also has co-living spaces in Acton, Camden, Hyde Park, King’s Cross and Notting Hill, alongside co-working space in Bedford Square, Acton and from September 2016 at Old Oak.

The Collective’s management team has also delivered the successful Pop Brixton and been appointed for the forthcoming Peckham Levels via its social enterprise arm, Make Shift.
The company runs a charitable fund, The Collective Foundation, which provides proactive support to outstanding students, aspiring entrepreneurs and industry leaders. From work experience and apprenticeship programmes, through to subsidised living and working space, The Collective Foundation is a launchpad for turning dreams into reality.

The Collective has also instigated a growth fund, backing entrepreneurs who are committed to building smart city technology to disrupt the property, retail, design, social and food & beverage sectors. For more information, visit:
The Collective can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About Pi Labs

Property Innovation Labs (Pi Labs) is Europe’s first venture capital platform to invest exclusively in early stage ventures in the property tech vertical. Pi Labs is based in London and invests in property tech companies globally.

Pi Labs was founded to become the centre of the property innovation ecosystem with the vision to identify, mentor, invest in and accelerate high-calibre startup ventures which have the passion and ability to create scalable businesses that will disrupt the property industry. Its in-house property expertise assists entrepreneurs in the rapid scaling of tomorrow’s tech-enabled property start-ups.

Pi Labs invests in property tech companies both directly, investing in Seed to Series A stage businesses, and through its accelerator programme. The Pi Labs Accelerator is a 13-week mentor led programme that accelerates the growth of exciting property tech start-ups. The accelerator business model creates a culture of innovation and mutual support between talented groups of entrepreneurial founders within the same areas of interest.

Pi Labs is led by a management team that has a unique blend of experience across the property and technology industries.
Pi Labs can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


RoomFlick Matches People With Spare Rooms And Properties

Over the coming weeks we’ll be interviewing our teams to better understand who they are and what they’re building. This week we would like to introduce you to RoomFlick.

Ross Nichols  – Co-Founder

Ross has been working in digital marketing for 10 years across media and technology brands. He loves gigs, most sports and is always in search of the next best burger (currently Bleeker St, if you were wondering).

Amit Shah – Co-Founder

Amit has been in mobile for the majority of his professional life. Other than start-ups he follows the majority of sports and continues to believe each year that Arsenal will win the league.  Each year he is disappointed…

Martin Bowley – Chairman

Martin is a media veteran complete with grey hair and has held senior and board positions across TV, radio, cinema, magazines and mobile. In his spare time he loves rugby and a good glass of red.


Welcome RoomFlick! Please introduce yourselves to the Pi Labs community.

Thanks for having us! RoomFlick uses social connections to match people with spare rooms and properties. It’s like Spareroom meets Tinder for the rental market.

How did RoomFlick come into being?

Every week on Facebook we were seeing our friends share updates like ‘Does anyone know anyone looking for a room?’ so we set about creating a solution to that problem. More often than not, people would rather live with somebody they know, a friend of a friend or with somebody that shares the same interests as them.

My background is in marketing and I met Amit and Martin through mutual friends. They have a huge amount of experience in building mobile apps so it was always going to be a good fit. We began working on RoomFlick in December last year and launched our beta version in June. It’s been a great journey so far and now we’re part of Pi Labs; we’re really looking forward to the years ahead.

What’s your business model? 

Initially we’ll be looking at premium advertising once we’ve established a solid user base. Longer term, we want to create a platform for landlords and tenants and bring some transparency to the rental market. We have lots of ideas for monetising this audience and we’ll be experimenting to see which ones resonate best with our customers.

How do you aim to change the market? 

With spiralling rental costs, more people are sharing properties than ever before. Finding the right place – and the right people to live with – isn’t easy. The process of renting a spare room hasn’t really changed since listings sites like Craiglist first came on the scene 20 years ago. 55% of Londoners are renting and a staggering 90% of those people are living in shared accommodation. We think it’s really important to find somebody you love living with rather than just have to put up with. Our ambition is to make RoomFlick the best way to find your perfect flatmate. With 17m people renting in the UK and over 215m renting in Europe, we think this is a great place to start building our brand. Who knows what the future holds but maybe in 1-2 years we’ll be working alongside a larger online property platform, focusing on the flatsharing market.

What brought you to the Pi Labs programme and where do you want to be by the end of it?

We heard the programme had a great reputation in the proptech space, and were delighted to find out we’d been selected ahead of over 100 other proptech businesses. For us, the biggest benefit of being involved with Pi Labs is the relationships we’re building with the best experts in the industry. It’s been incredible so far.  By the end of the 13 weeks we’ll hopefully be close to securing our next round of funding and gearing up for a busy 2016.

What does success mean to you?

Success to us is building a product that people love and consider the default place for finding a spare room.

To close, which entrepreneur do you admire?

It’s probably a cliche now, but Richard Branson is right up there. He’s had major successes and a few failures along the way, which I think makes him more humble than most. He’s taken on so many established markets with his products and services, and I’d like to think that we can do the same within the rental market.

How to get in touch?

@rossnichols –

@Martin_Bowley –

@AmitJayShah –