Layoffs and an office auction sparked rumors that home rental startup RadPad was on its deathbed last year. After raising more than $12 million in funding, hefty legal fees from a “data scraping” lawsuit with Craigslist had put the LA-based startup nearly out of business.
But TechCrunch has learned that RadPad has found itself a new home. Dallas-based LandlordStation has purchased them for an undisclosed price.
The RadPad site will be kept much the same and a few remaining employees will be joining the new company. LandlordStation, which provides tenant screening, felt that RadPad complemented its business.
RadPad founder and CEO Jonathan Eppers will be stepping aside, but staying on in an advisory role. While he is relieved that someone wound up buying RadPad, he spoke to us about his frustration that RadPad didn’t get the outcome he felt it deserved.
“Craigslist had really one goal in mind and it was to put RadPad out of business,” said Eppers, who vehemently denies that his company scraped Craigslist for rental listings. He said there had been other prospective buyers, but they “didn’t want to buy RadPad under the settlement conditions that were agreed to.” Calling it “blackmail,” Eppers pointed to Craigslist’s litigious past and suggested that the company is trying to wield unfair lawsuits to hurt smaller competitors.
He said that before the drama with Craigslist, RadPad had about half a million active users searching the site for rental listings. They were also processing rent payments through the platform and had to halt the service, but LandlordStation intends to bring the feature back by spring.
The three-year-old startup had just $1.8 million in revenue, but “we felt like we were on a path to profitability,” said Eppers. They took a small commission on rental payments and had begun to take a percentage of successful landlord listings. They were on track to process over $100 million in rental payments last year.
“This has been some of the most devastating 6-8 months of my life,” said Eppers.
It’s a painful reminder that even startups that raise millions from VCs often don’t work out. Rapper Nas’ QueensBridge Venture Partners, SGVC and Altpoint Ventures were amongst the long list of investors.
But LandlordStation is hoping they will be able to hire back a few of the laid-off RadPad employees and continue to grow its business. “We think that they had the model right,” said LandlordStation CEO Copley Broer.
Additional reporting by John Mannes