How we started

Rupert Hunt the SpareRoom founder

SpareRoom is the brainchild of Rupert Hunt. Rupert is an unlikely tech entrepreneur. He lives in a 300-year-old house in London's East End with no TV and no microwave.

We opened our doors in the UK in 2004. That makes us ancient in web years - older than Twitter and older than Instagram. Here are some of our best bits:

Rupert Hunt the SpareRoom founder
Rupert Hunt started IntoLondon in 1999

In 1999...

Rupert had just finished a Mickey Mouse degree called ‘Pop Music'. He moved to London to be in a band*, and created websites in his spare time.

Despite being a horrendous roommate, and always leaving dirty dishes in the sink, Rupert successfully launched the UK's first roommate website - IntoLondon.com.

In 2004...

Rupert moved back home and realized living with roommates wasn't just a London thing. From a spider-ridden shed in his parents' back garden, he launched SpareRoom - a roommate finding website for the whole of the UK. He funded it on his credit card and worried about it later.

The same year, Rupert took on his first employee, Gemma Allen-Muncey. Together, they ran the first ever SpeedFlatmating event in London. After a feature in a local paper, the Times picked the story up. By the time they ran the third event, they were joined by two TV channels, three radios stations and five newspapers. Things spiralled from there.

Rupert Hunt launched SpareRoom in 2004 from a garden shed

In 2011...

SpareRoom launched in New York - Speed Flatmating was re-born as speedroommating in January 2012.

In 2013...

After separating from his wife, Rupert found himself alone in a townhouse in Spitalfields, East London. He decided to use his own website to find roommates. Having people around didn't just make life more fun. It helped Rupert fall in love with SpareRoom all over again. He realized that living with the right people beats living alone any day.

Living with the right people beats living alone
SpareRoom is the UK's number 1 flatsharing website

Today...

SpareRoom is the UK's number 1 roommate website and is growing fast in the US. We've brought people together from all walks of life. Our users have made lifelong friends, travelled across the world to meet each other's families, and there's even been the odd wedding.

And tomorrow...

We want to do even more to help you find people who make sharing amazing. That means inventing new ways to bring like-minded people together and leaving fewer things down to chance. And we'd love to make apartment sharing a lifestyle that people aspire to - an upgrade from living alone, rather than the other way round.

We want to do even more to help you find people who make sharing amazing
* the band was called Erogenous Jones – they didn’t become rockstars. Though they did once play for 30 lifers at the biggest High Security Prison in Western Europe.