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RadPad raises $200000 and comes to Austin to make apartment-finding a breeze

Even prod­uct man­agers have to find apart­ments; and that means that they’ll know, like every­one else who’s been in the same predica­ment, what a night­mare it can be. Check­ing Craigslist just doesn’t cut it any­more – it seems stuck in an inter­net time bub­ble dat­ing from the 1990s. But thanks to the Rad­Pad app, the brain­child of entre­pre­neur Jonathan Eppers (erst­while prod­uct man­ag­er for MySpace and eHar­mo­ny), the process just got a whole lot easier.

From pain to pleasure

Described in the Huff­in­g­ton Post as a “hybrid of Craigslist and Insta­gram”, Rad­Pad was borne of Eppers’ strug­gle to find a decent pad in Los Ange­les last year. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, he almost cer­tain­ly found him­self think­ing what every­one else does: there just has to be a sim­pler way to do this. Unlike every­one else, though, Eppers built a solu­tion. Maybe that’s what inno­v­a­tive prod­uct man­agers do when con­front­ed with a pain that urgent­ly needs sorting.

Unlike oth­er sites adver­tis­ing rentals, Rad­Pad doesn’t sim­ply fea­ture the odd pho­to: it puts them front-and-cen­ter when­ev­er apart­ment-hunters view list­ings. And it insists that each land­lord sends three pho­tos of the property.

The user expe­ri­ence is a breeze: just go through a few drop-down menus and sift through the list­ings. Because it’s a loca­tion-based iPhone app, it lets users see a map of avail­able apart­ments in the neigh­bor­hood they’re dri­ving through just by open­ing it. Land­lords can just upload their pho­tos from their smartphones.

Soar­ing upwards

The app has been going down a storm in LA, with 24,000 down­loads and rough­ly 2,500 renters using it every day. Hav­ing raised $200,000 in fund­ing, Eppers is get­ting ready to launch Rad­Pad in Austin, Texas, tak­ing the num­ber of mar­kets it’s used in to four (the oth­ers are San Diego, San Fran­cis­co and, of course, Los Angeles).

The move is a can­ny one. There’s a big stu­dent pop­u­la­tion in Austin (col­lege kids are big users of the app) and one of RadPad’s investors, real estate firm Post Invest­ment Group, owns thou­sands of units there.

The ser­vice is cur­rent­ly free but Eppers is work­ing on plans to mon­e­tize it, prob­a­bly by charg­ing for pre­mi­um ser­vices for renters, like send­ing push-noti­fi­ca­tions to Rad­Pad users when they’re near a landlord’s apartment.

A web ver­sion of the app has just been launched. This lit­tle solu­tion has got wings. Big ones.

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