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Hack To Start
Episode 169

Ajay Yadav

Founder & CEO @RoomiApp | Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Ajay Yadav is the Founder & CEO of Roomie, the leading marketplace for shared housing and apartments. Ajay has built several companies before Roomi, which was bootstrapped for the first 2 years and has raised over $6M to date. Ajay shares how he approached building the platform in the early days, from a Tumblr + Google forms MVP to building the first version of the mobile app himself. Today, Roomi has acquired a few other startups in the same industry and has a remote team of over 40 people. Ajay joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like building companies in the early days of the web, how he approaches fundraising, what it’s been like building and scaling a marketplace, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Ajay got into startups & tech.
  • Learn more about what it was like going from MVP to platform
  • Learn more about how Ajay has approach raising money
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Ajay Yadav is the Founder & CEO of Roomie, the leading marketplace for shared housing and apartments.

Ajay has built several companies before Roomi, which was bootstrapped for the first 2 years and has raised over $6M to date.

Ajay shares how he approached building the platform in the early days, from a Tumblr + Google forms MVP to building the first version of the mobile app himself.

Today, Roomi has acquired a few other startups in the same industry and has a remote team of over 40 people.

Ajay joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like building companies in the early days of the web, how he approaches fundraising, what it’s been like building and scaling a marketplace, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:05
Can you tell us more about yourself? Where are you from and what did you study?

2:19
So how did your passion for tech and startups develop?

2:50
So what were some of those first few companies you built?

3:21
What were some of the biggest challenges in starting those startups?

5:28
Can you tell us more about Roomi and what motivated you to start it?

6:21
What was it like building the first version of the platform? How did you approach growth?

8:45
So you mention that you bootstrapped Roomi for the first two years. What’s it like bootstrapping a marketplace startup? What were some of the lessons you learnt about building both supply and demand sides?

10:42
What’s it been like growing the Roomi platform from an expansion perspective?

11:29
So over the course of the last few years, Roomi has raised almost $6M over 3 rounds. What’s it been like raising investment at various stages of the company’s growth?

12:54
Roomi has also acquired a pair of other startups. What’s it like going through the acquisition process on that side of the table and what are some of the challenges that come after an acquisition?

13:50
How are you currently growing the marketplace?

14:22
What have been some of the biggest challenges of going from a bootstrapped startup to a venture backed startup that’s growing quickly?

17:22
You briefly mentioned that your team is about 40 people. So how do you approach balancing culture and growth?

19:54
What are some of the most impactful tools or resources that you’ve come across recently or find yourself routinely recommending?

21:22
Do you have any personal mottos or an outlook that you live by and would share with others?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Ajay Yadav on Twitter
Ajay Yadav on the web
Roomi on Twitter
Roomi on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Branch
Periscope Data
Asana

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