Apartment Rental Website Abodo Homes In On $3.3M In Funding

Abodo, a Madison, WI-based startup that has developed technology to help users search for apartments and contact property managers, has raised more than $3.3 million from 13 investors, according to a regulatory filing that was made public on Thursday.

Alec Slocum, who co-founded Abodo in 2012 and serves as its CEO, confirmed the raise during a phone interview with Xconomy. He declined to reveal any of the funds or investors who participated in the equity financing round, however, saying that his company planned to disclose those details and more at a later date, likely sometime in July.

Abodo, whose legal name is MoveIn, Inc., has raised more than $5.4 million to date, according to SEC documents.

In 2014, the startup closed a $1.25 million funding round led by Madison-based American Family Ventures, the venture capital arm of American Family Insurance.

Abodo’s business model involves charging large apartment complexes to list on its site, though it has also allowed some smaller properties to advertise for free.

Company spokesman Sam Radbil says that nearly 1.8 million people have used Abodo during the four years it’s been online.

Abodo is currently operating in 30 markets across the U.S., Radbil says. Several of these cities are Midwestern college towns, such as Bloomington, IN, Ann Arbor, MI, and Columbus, OH. Slocum previously told Xconomy that he believes Abodo can have success by making inroads into small and mid-sized cities, especially ones with large student populations, because those places are sometimes ignored by the startup’s larger competitors.

It will take time—and a lot of sweat—if Abodo is to grow to the point where it competes with the likes of Craigslist and Apartments.com head-on. But that’s not the only outcome that would reward the startup for the work that it’s done, especially since the apartment-finding sector has seen its fair share of exits over the years. Rent.com was acquired by eBay in 2005 for about $415 million and Zillow bought StreetEasy for $50 million in 2013, just to name two examples.

While it remains to be seen how things will turn out for Abodo in the long run, what seems fairly certain is that we’ll learn more about its latest round of funding in the coming weeks.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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