23. January 2013–
Berlin-based startup Roomsurfer has landed a six-figure investment in its latest funding round from Luca Ascani, CEO of Populis, and an undisclosed "number of leading investors and business angels". The platform connects travellers with local hosts, similar to services like Airbnb, Wimdu, Couchsurfing and 9flats, but introduces a social element aimed at bringing together like-minded people.
On Roomsurfer, users can create a profile and input information about likes and interests from social network sites and services such as Facebook, Spotify or Foursquare. The social matching mechanism, developed in collaboration with the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, utilises this information to calculate a match-factor that demonstrates compatibility between hosts and guests.
“Young people today don’t want travelling to be about tour buses and ticking places off a list,” explained Michael Walser, founder and CEO of Roomsurfer. “They want to immerse themselves in a city with like-minded people; they’re looking for very real, one-off experiences. Of course, they also want to stay somewhere as cheaply as possible – but not just anywhere or with just anyone. And this is where Roomsurfer.com comes into play."
Roomsurfer is expected to launch Europe-wide come spring and Walser expects more than 30,000 users by the end of the year – an ambitious target considering how saturated the travel accommodation booking scene is.