The age of people in London flatshares is rising according to Ideal Flatmate, an online platform that matches housemates by personality.
Thirty-six per cent of Ideal Flatmate’s users are over the age of 35, indicating a shift in a market which was previously dominated by students and young professionals.
“Our user demographics point to the changing nature of the flatsharing market. The average age of a flatsharer is now 32, with the fastest growing group being the over 40s,” said founder Tom Gatzen.
Launched earlier this year, Ideal Flatmate uses an algorithm to match flatmates on the basis of compatibility. Users take a quick survey before seeing and messaging the people they are most likely to get on with.
Gatzen explains: “One of the key drivers to determine compatibility in flatshares is attitudes to privacy. Some see a flatshare as very much a communal arrangement where people live together and share items such as food, whereas others see it very much as an arrangement of convenience and don't necessarily want to live in each other's pockets.
“Either arrangement can work well but it's important for the harmony of the living environment that like-minded people are living together.”
The site has achieved rapid month-on-month growth and now receiving more than 25,000 site visits per month. The most popular areas for its searches are Shoreditch, Stratford, Hackney, Camden and Wandsworth.
A range of angel investors has just put up £500,000 in seed funding for the platform which will be invested in marketing. They include Steve Leach, founder of Bigmouthmedia, and David Pollock, founder of Greene & Co and Union Developments.
Gatzen said: “The range of investors who are backing us in this round is incredibly exciting and gives us a huge amount of confidence. To have surpassed our initial target is also a big plus and means we can accelerate our growth plans. I can’t wait to continue to improve the site and take our idea out to a far wider audience.”
The service, currently London-based, intends to expand across the UK in late 2018 and to have an App launched within 12 months.
Gatzen and co-founder Robert Imonikhe are expanding their team with three additions: a digital marketing hire, a product development lead, and a social media executive/head of campaigns.
“The business will be profitable by mid-2018 and the focus over the next 12-18 months will be on fast growth and user acquisition,” Gatzen said.