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Zumper launches apartment search tool in Chicago

Chicagoans will have a new choice of online apartment search tools Thursday when Zumper, a San Francisco company, launches its website with real-time listings of apartments for rent.

The service, at Zumper.com, ranks apartments by color code on a map, with apartments that have become available in the last 24 hours ringed in purple and ones listed earlier in blue.

Apartment searchers may click on the map to explore the availabilities and prices, or they may separately search a list that is constantly updated.

Zumper, which won $1 million in seed funding in September from well-known venture capital firms such as Greylock, Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz, plans to eventually launch an app that users can download to their smart phones to get alerts when an apartment that meets their selected criteria gets listed, said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades.

The company also plans to offer a subscription-based service to landlords and brokers with the option of downloading their own listings or sending Zumper a daily list.

Zumper will compete with the likes of Craigslist, Domu and Trulia, but Georgiades believes the Chicago market can handle more search services, especially with young people moving into the city to work at fast-growing technology companies, and as 5,000 new apartments are set to open this year and another 5,000 in 2014.



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