Apartment hunting in New York can be a soul-crushing time-suck. Just ask our friend who is crying about it right now. (Speaking of, anyone know of a nice studio/1-bedroom in Prospect Heights? He could really use your help!)
To the rescue comes Nestio, the very first start-up to present at TechStars’ Demo Day in April. The NYC real estate bookmarking site just secured itself the entire $750,000 it was aiming for, besting the $100,000 it had “soft-circled.” Angel investors for the seed funding round, led by NY-based Quotidian Ventures, include Gotham Gal Joanne Wilson, Barbarian Group’s Rick Webb, Betaworks’ Josh Auerbach, and TechStars New York’s David Tisch. The start-up aims to make it “easier to find a place to live” by organizing apartment listings so you can compare price/bedroom/location side-by-side either online or via its streamlined apps.
Although AG Beat reports that the company can input listings from both Craigslist and Streeteasy, Betabeat got a notification saying “Oh sorry, right now we’re only parsing listings from NYC Craigslist. Adding support for more sites soon!” when we tried to add a Streeteasy link. In any case, users can copy and paste a URL or add a bookmarklet to populate their list (and let friends view potential new homes via Facebook Connect.) Nestio also allows users, like say potential roommates, to edit listings, add comments, and collaborate in realtime. TechCrunch reports that Nestio will be using the funding to build out its development team and add features “that will provide deeper context and transparency to apartment listings,” along with expanding to other cities.
With competitors like Apartments.com, Padmapper.com, and unfortunately-named (sorry, guys!) Hotpads.com, already in the same market, the best thing Nestio has going for it are mobile functionality–a huge plus when you’re shlepping from apartment to apartment–as well as the ability to supplement listings services like Zillow and Trulia rather than attempting to compete with their extensive, established inventories.
Considering the rate at which a good Craiglist find goes off the market, what we’d really love to see is realtime deletion of apartments that can no longer be had, perhaps with a sadface emoticon to show you care?