The Hemavi Journal ep.2 - Expanding to Copenhagen, and Beyond Matchmaking.

A 'quick' recap on our next big endeavours, and our long-term vision on the problems of the co-living market today.

The Hemavi Journal ep.2 - Expanding to Copenhagen, and Beyond Matchmaking.
Photo by Nick Karvounis / Unsplash

Hello people! 👋

Welcome to episode 2 of the Hemavi Journal. The unfiltered, light-hearted, and non-AI-generated series of monthly-ish blogs where I (Matt) will share updates on where Hemavi is at today, our longer-term vision, and how we're managing to change the world of co-living one match at a time.

Previously – Hemavi Journal ep.1 – Introducing Photo Highlights

What’s wrong with the co-living market today?

Let's not kid ourselves. There are many housing marketplaces out there — the concept of 'shared accommodation' is not new by any means, but everyone seems to have pigeonholed the room rental problem (i.e. co-living) as an 'insignificant sub-category' of apartment rental.

In other words, none of them really seem to understand (or value) the human factor of the co-living experience – how about the people you're about to live with, shouldn't they matter?

Right now, your choices are –

  1. A Facebook group that ‘sort-of’ offers you some information about the people you interact with, but provides no support or safeguards against scammers and creeps; OR,
  2. An established platform that ‘sort-of’ works, but which does not allow (or encourage) you to learn anything meaningful about the actual humans you are about to share your personal living space with.

So you end up wondering –

  1. Do you need to transfer money to a total stranger before even seeing the place you're going to move into, and have no one to help you when you get scammed?
  2. Do you need to sign any rental agreement that comes to you (in a language you don’t understand), without knowing if it’s fair or standard at all?
  3. Say you don’t get scammed 🤞— Are you sure you’re not going to live with weirdos, creeps, or people that are just not compatible with your lifestyle at all?

We're changing that ✊. (or at least, trying really hard to)

Copenhagen 🇩🇰, here we come! (again)

It's been quite the journey from launching our MVP (emphasis on minimum😅) 3 years ago in Sweden, to having a platform that actually managed to match fantastic roommates together.

A short re-focus on our principles and values later, we're back in Copenhagen (I'll get back to that). Now that we're confident that we've found a winning formula in Sweden – many happy users, high average ticket size, strong landlord retention. We're convinced that it's time to prove that the whole co-living dream is something our nordic neighbours in Denmark are willing to buy into.

Is it going to be a sure win? Who knows 🤷‍♂️. But then again, we tend to be quite stubborn when it comes to wanting to ship things fast, seeing how users react – and re-starting the cycle a little wiser (hopefully).

So what changed since we first launched in March 2022? Simply put, we actually listened to users. We simplified the platform, improved our notifications system (people love using Whatsapp), added an online viewing scheduler (for our tenants who were still thousands of kilometres away), and added a way for people to express their unique (and to be frank, a bit strange at times) personalities via photos.

So keep an eye out for Hemavi's first official re-launch in Copenhagen on the 15th of March 2024! 🥳

What's next? 🧐

Moving to a new city is scary. We know – we've done it, and it sucks. And yet, there's so much more to the whole moving experience than just finding a roof over your head – that's only step one.

We don't have any ambition to be 'yet another housing platform' that finds you a place, charges you a hefty fee, and leaves you out to dry – it's quite cold up here in Scandinavia, that would indeed take quite a while. We don't want that.

"You are not alone" - Hemavi

Hemavi aims to be there throughout your entire journey to a new city or country. We take care of the boring legal paperwork and admin stuff, and the entire support system around you – so that you can focus on fully immersing yourself into the local culture.

Step Two – Beyond the matchmaking

So picture this – you just moved to Copenhagen for your internship or bachelor's degree. You found an apartment to share with some plant-loving clean freaks (just like you), you've just unpacked your suitcase, and now it dawns upon you – You've got no friends💀.

Sure, talking with your roommates about how often you should water your philodendron is nice and all... But maybe you would also like to go for a hike, visit a hipster bar, or play some Settlers of Catan with random people. You're a complex human being – you need more interactions, more things to do, or places to explore.

"Hello again!🙋‍♀️" – Hemavi

[We're not quite there yet – but here's our vision] The thing that Hemavi would be able to do, that no one else can, is now match you with other people that are in the exact same spot you're in. You all have one thing in common – you've moved to a new city or country, and you've shared your personal interests and hobbies, so much so that we're confident we can do a pretty good job at finding people that can really vibe with you.

Who knows? Maybe those strangers-turned-friends you've met are now your next roommates, and you're now looking to share a cosy 4-bed apartment together 👀.

We might not be ready for that today (give us 2 months tops), but at least, maybe you can get a glimpse of our vision of a community of 'people moving to places' – why we believe we're not 'just another boring housing platform', and why we're confident this is going somewhere. Where exactly? No idea, but somewhere. And you're more than welcome to join the ride.🎢

Until next time,