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HomeShare lays off almost all of its staff

HomeShare lays off almost all of its staff
[Photo: Marius Masalar/Unsplash]

HomeShare has cut a majority of its staff, reports the San Fransisco Chronicle. The San Francisco-based startup matched applicants who lived in luxury apartment buildings with roommates with the goal of helping people find more affordable housing in some of the most crowded housing markets in the country, including San Fransisco, Seattle, and New York City. Once an applicant was matched with a roommate, HomeShare processed the monthly rent payments for them.

On Sunday, the company’s CEO Jeff Pang wrote in a blog post that the company was jettisoning its role as a middleman payment processor and laying off most of its staff “due to unforeseen financial constraints”:

Part of our service involved facilitating rent payments from housemates and their leasing offices. Our goal was to ease the uncertainty involved on both sides. However, based on feedback from customers and partners, acting as a middle-man for payments was adding complexity and confusion to the billing process. As a result, we decided to remove ourselves from the payment flow so that residents could pay leasing offices directly.

Due to unforeseen financial constraints, we were forced to make these changes much sooner than expected. To help with this transition, we have provided early returns of over $1 million in funds to customers. To ensure we could sustain the service, we also made the difficult decision to let go a majority of our staff. Our staff has worked incredibly hard over the past few years, and I am so grateful for their support particularly over the past few weeks with this transition.

As for HomeShare, it’s not shutting down entirely, but Pang notes there are some rough times ahead as it looks to get back onto its feet and win back the trust of its users:

In all candor, it has been a tough few weeks for our community of partners and residents. However, I’m hopeful that this difficult month of transition will be followed by a simpler and better customer experience. Over time, we will strive to serve customers and earn back any lost trust.

Update: HomeShare’s CEO Jeff Pang reached out to clarify that HomeShare has refunded any outstanding rent users paid to them. They’ve reflected this in a change to their earlier blog post. The corrected post reads:

Due to unforeseen financial constraints, we were forced to make these changes much sooner than expected. To help with this transition, we have provided early returns of over $1 million in funds to customers in addition to refunding any rent paid for April. To ensure we could sustain the service, we also made the difficult decision to let go a majority of our staff. Our staff has worked incredibly hard over the past few years, and I am so grateful for their support particularly over the past few weeks with this transition.

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