Timeline // October 2013 – Ongoing
Type // Startup incubated at Jurema
Social platform that helps people during the process of sharing a living, starting with finding roommates and places to live. From relevant data and social connections collected during the sign-up process, our algorithms recommends people and places based on people's interests, lifestyle and mutual friends.
See it live!
It all started with a personal need
The idea started way back, inspired by personal experiences summed with those from friends and colleagues: living in the cities can be unaffordable for many people in early career stage. In addition to that, finding people and places to share often involves a complex searching process, since it’s not just about finding someone to live with or a place to crash, but finding a person that matches your personal interests and lifestyle. My main motivation was to simplify this process by matching people with similar interests, to promote a connection between strangers.
But before we built something
"Why is it so important to work on a problem you have? Among other things, it ensures the problem really exists." – Paul Graham
In order to validate both idea and market opportunity, I elaborated a qualitative survey using Typeform (high-five to their user experience and interface design, btw). I distributed it in some "help me share a living" groups on Facebook - there are many - and in a week spam we were able to gather around 250 replies. That was super valuable to help identify product opportunities and support the idea of what could be a solution.
Following this phase, I built a simple landing page just enough to give the main idea of the startup and invite people to leave their email. Along with a week Adwords campaign, we got around 40% conversion rate on email subscription. Fair enough, time to build our service!
After many startup process we've tested inside Jurema, the Lean Startup is one that really works when you have a team of developers that are product-driven and when you need to test your idea + iterate fast.
By building a community of people interested in finding and offering places to rent, we focus on creating empathy between home sharing seekers by solving a real problem we've identified. The feedback we got was very positive and with lots of ideas for our product roadmap.
Although we made no investment in marketing, those are some things we achieved so far:
+ Good deal of press mentions
+ 11.700 registered users
+ 500 listed places
+ 16.300 messages exchanged between users
People all over Brazil started using it, but there's still a long way to go, specially when it comes to our business model. To the future, we aim to approach this same target with complementary solutions for rent sharing, by helping in the living phase.
What I learned
There's no need to get bureaucratic when you are launching a startup. The most important thing is to validate ideas fast. Plus, nowardays there are a bunch of tools that enables people with no expertise in graphic design and coding (such as myself) to just DIY and learn from that. Some examples are Typeform, UserVoice, Google Adwords / Trends / Analytics, LaunchRock, and Unbounce are just some of the ones I applied with Moove In.