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Every week the UTA Digital Media Team is exposed to amazing technology companies in their early phases. Each week we highlight one we find interesting …
About: RadPad is a photo-based rental app for finding a place to live. It allows renters to instantly find and view nearby rentals, as well as allowing property owners to list a rental on the app within minutes.
How it works: RadPad’s goal is to help renters easily find a place to live, quickly secure the rental and move in. After downloading the iPhone app, a renter can instantly see nearby active listings while also setting up a custom search based on filters like location, price, number of bedrooms & bathrooms. Users scroll down through properties as if going down a newsfeed with photos and information.
RadPad’s sleek design places a premium on photos in their app (think of it as Instagram for rentals). It is the only rental app that requires listers to post a minimum of three photos of the property. As easy as it is to upload a photo on Instagram, users wanting to rent out an apartment can snap photos through the app, and quickly add in price and location. Within three minutes a listing is set up. The company is also focused on helping listers identify the right renter for their pad (credit verified, proof of income, etc.).
Analysis: The use of Craigslist to list and rent properties is clunky, ugly and old. The rental market is massive and ready to be disrupted. 100 million people rent homes and apartments. Nationwide, renters account for 34 percent of the population. In Los Angeles, renters account for 63 percent of the population and 70 percent in New York City. Think about it in startup terms: the rental industry is the world’s largest subscription based marketplace and the volume of transactions (rents/month/person) is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Design matters. Unlike other rental services, RadPad is the only true mobile service where the entire experience is built around photos. This makes it much easier for a renter to quickly find a new home. However, beyond the goal of helping a renter easily find a place to live, user experience matters in a cluttered market place and will help the new startup gain traction.
Competition: There are a number of players in the rental space. Craigslist is one of the biggest places to find a place to rent, followed by services such as WestSide Rentals based in Los Angeles. In the startup world Padmapper, LiveLovely and Zumper are also focusing on gaining marketshare. RadPad has chosen to double down and focus on the mobile market while using design and technology to help renters find their “pad.”
Beta: RadPad launched on October 1 for the iPhone. The web experience will launch in December, and an Android app will come out soon after.
Funding: Currently being funded by their founder, a former product designer at MySpace and eHarmony, the company is raising a seed round.