Central Texas startup Comfy aims to make mark on student housing

Jul 14, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Searching for affordable, conveniently located off-campus housing is something that most college students dread


A Central Texas startup has raised $600,000 from investors including Austin Ventures to help simplify the process


Comfy, founded in 2013, offers an online service that connects students seeking housing with landlords who have space to rent


The company’s website and mobile app let students create a profile listing exactly what they want, including price range, number of rooms and location. Property managers can access the profiles and contact students


The service launched last year in Provo, Utah, where co-founders Jordan Wright and Scott Weinert went to college. It’s now available to students at 2,400 universities across the country


Wright and Weinert moved Comfy’s headquarters from Provo to Round Rock in January, drawn by the cost of doing business and the fact that Austin is home to leading college housing development and management companies American Campus Communities and Campus Advantage


“The minute you move into a new place, it’s time to start looking again,” he said. “One of the frustrations is not knowing what’s available. As a renter I can go into a big website and send 30 messages and hear back from two. With Comfy, students get a response to every inquiry they send”


The service is currently free to both students and property managers, but the company foresees eventually charging a finder’s fee to landlords


Comfy doesn’t provide usage numbers, but Wright said that in Provo, more than 30 percent of the 50,000-person student population signed up to use the service


In addition to Austin Ventures, Comfy investors include Dominion Ventures partner Mike Lee and individual investors


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