The story of Roometo

Hi, I'm Henry, co-founder and CEO of Roometo.

If you've got a minute, I'd like to share the unlikely story of how Roometo was formed. But first, what exactly is Roometo?

Put simply, Roometo is an online platform that specializes in student accommodation. We help students, both in college and university, find an alternative place to stay. We also provide recommendations and reviews, a way for us to ensure that our users settle for the most affordable, secure and comfortable place.

Although officially started in late 2017, we started fiddling with way back in 2013. You see, when I joined campus, I found out that much like other universities Technical University did not have enough accommodation for all its students. It wasn't unique to me alone. My co-founders also suffered the same fate.

We hated the process. A sheet of paper, with a list of names and contacts. What's a new kid in a new town to do with all that information? We didn't really pursue the idea, until 2017.

And so, in 2017 we decided to do something about it. It took a few months for us to come up with the first iteration and test it out. It was simple, one would simply fill a form expressing interest in a hostel and we would follow up with phone calls. We had more than 100 students sign up.

A few months later, we came up with the second iteration and officially launched it in 2018. It had more functionalities like price and location filter. More than 200 students signed up.

Today, we are on our third iteration. To date, thousands of students have used the platform in one way or another and we have more than 200 rooms listed on the site. So far, we have grown to become one of the largest online market places for student accommodation in Nairobi, and maybe even Kenya. Our goal is to continue as we have always. No PR or no gimmicks just shear honesty and best service we can possibly give.

We are constantly learning and improving. To us, we are just getting started.

What we stand for

As a company, we have a couple of things we believe in and stand for. It doesn't refer to the things we aspire to be, but rather the qualities about us now that we would not consider trading.

We have christened them, the 6-Core.

  1. Straight talk, no BS: We firmly believe in honesty, right from what you see on the platform being what you get to our interactions with each other and our users.
  2. If you can't enjoy it, don't do it: It's more than just business to us. We deeply enjoy what we do, whether it's serving our users or creating a new product. Fun doesn't mean easy though.
  3. Put the user first: Our users are at the heart of everything we do, product or otherwise.
  4. Simplicity: We believe in simplicity, both in design and userbility as well as our communication in the company.
  5. Repeat until you get it right: No masterpiece was ever created on the first attempted. We believe in the human capacity to solve problems when given an opportunity to fail and learn.
  6. Working alone is good, but working in teams is better: Greatness cannot be accomplished by one person.

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