Badi, the Tinder of flatmates

The platform links empty rooms up with people looking for a place to stay through a system that evaluates the suitability of each user

There are no shortage of websites for finding empty rooms and flats, as there are platforms playing the role of the old noticeboard to find people interested in flat sharing. Nevertheless, that does not mean everything will turn out fine, as often it is a question of luck. To avoid problematic situations and bad experiences, Badi offers itself as a tool to find the ideal flatmate.

"Badi is an app that connects people in a different way. We don't just offer rooms, we connect people. We offer a lot of information about the user's profile," the head of brand marketing, Ignasi Giralt, tells VIA Empresa. Each time someone interested registers with the platform, they have to answer basic questions like their name or profession, but also specify their tastes, habits and other characteristics that could make a difference in ensuring the relationship between the flatmates works. It is as if you were looking for a partner.

The advantages of machine learning
The algorithm used by Badi is based on machine learning technology. That means that the platform cross references the data of all the users and brings together those who have the most in common. What's more, the more active the person is on the application, the more information will be generated by the algorithm, so that the recommendation for flatmates will be much more accurate.

Another of the tool's advantages, for the head of brand marketing, is that the person who posts the ad chooses whom he or she wants to talk to. "Someone who posts a room can say whether or not they want to talk to the other person, and they have to accept that," he says.

Innovating in a traditional sector
The competition is tough and Giralt knows it. However, he insists that the fact that it is the only application that goes further in bringing rooms and potential flatmates together gives it added value: "There is a small number of startups in the market that focus on this target. However, we have specialised in what is truly of value to people, which is finding the ideal person. At Badi we always say that the room is secondary to finding the perfect flatmate."

This is destined to become the most innovative part of the housing market. It is only a small part of it, but is represented by the entrepreneurs who have done the most to contribute a fresh outlook and to distance themselves from traditional companies. Some of these are firms that specialise in finding flats, but Giralt points out they do not put clients looking for rooms at the centre of the core business. Meanwhile, others are classified businesses that work with different verticals and without prioritising this because it is not what generates the most activity.

3 million euros of funding
Badi was set up in June 2015 with only three employees, who were the three founders, and with the classic financial support of fools, friends and family. A year and a half later, the staff is now made up of 20 employees and they have the support of the Luxembourg capital fund, Mangrove Capital, known as one of the investors in Skype. "They learnt about the project and loved it, they firmly believe in it," says Giralt.

Thus, for 2017 their aim is to continue growing and to begin a second investment round to expand the business model abroad.That is why they are leaving the monetisation of the service until a second phase –the app is now totally free- and once they have established themselves on the market and users know them better, they will focus their efforts on generating business through complementary services to the basic ones they now offer.


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