US accomodation app Roomi appeared to be on the ropes, with reports stating it shed the vast majority of its staff without compensation.
VentureBeat reported 50 of Roomi’s 63 staff had been laid off. The company told the news outlet “a number of staff” had been let go, citing financing woes: it separately told CNN a funding round had fallen through.
However, sources told VentureBeat the company had been careless in its spending, citing a ten-day visit to Thailand for all staff and the outlay of $1 million on advertising in New York City and London as examples.
Roomi also faced accusations of nepotism, with former staff stating CEO Ajay Yadav’s fiancee had been on the payroll for up to a year. Close family members were also being paid, one of whom was accused of sexual harassment.
In 2017 Roomi raised $11 million in funding, around the time it said it had garnered 1 million users and planned to expand in the US and internationally.
It appeared to be on track as earlier this year it acquired New York-based roommate matching service Symbi and Study Abroad Apartments, which it said gave it a footprint in many European markets. Most recently, it acquired shared rental platform DadaRoom.
However, the company appears to have future options: one of its current investors told VentureBeat it stands by the company and is willing to invest again.