Cribspot Gains Momentum with Funding and 60,000 UsersBy Amanda Lewan on September 30th, 2014 /
The Ann Arbor startup works like a match.com for college students searching for a home, and students are loving them for it.
Cribspot allows students to find a place, message a landlord, and submit payments online. They just raised a round of $660,000 led by Huron River Ventures, and by the end of the summer claim to have an estimated 60,000 students who have used the platform.
Jason Okrasinski Cribspot’s co-founder and CEO said the idea came out of what sounds like a realistic exercise in business class.
“We had to pick a problem that was notable that faced students and could be solved in a few months,” Okrasinksi said. “That’s how we got started.”
Okrasinksi and co-founder Tim Jones both graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 and left when they were offered jobs out of state. They didn’t give up on the startup. During this time they had interviewed with TechStars one of the country’s top technology startup accelerators. They were one of the youngest teams interviewing for a spot in the accelerator, but received great feedback.
“At that point, we thought this is something. There’s a business here and demand for a product,” said Okrasrinksi. “And even though we didn’t get in, it was enough to push us forward.”
Leaving their full time jobs wasn’t too hard, as Okrasrinksi said choosing to be an entrepreneur has more support around it. And, he says, they had a strong user base continuing to grow.
They returned to Ann Arbor and re-launched the website Cripspot.com. Right now 15 colleges are participating including Michigan and Michigan State, with a hope to expand to Wayne State University soon. They are also looking to expand their service to the young professional market, too.
Right now you can try out Cribspot by searching for housing on the website for free. Houses can be listed for free, but they do charge to pay rent online.
“Most landlords are really excited about it. They can offer convenience to their renters,” said Okrasrinksi. “It’s a win-win. They don’t have to worry about an online rent payment process. We take care of that for them.”
Check out Cribspot and share the startup with any friends or relatives you have in college. We hope to see them continue to grow and offer an alternative way to find your college crib.