Cardiff-based student property rental platform, University Cribs, secured £450,000 in seed funding from entrepreneurs-turned-investors across related industries. With new capital, University Cribs plans to expand its geographic reach further with letting agents and student property providers across the UK, while investing in the technology platform to stay ahead of the market.
University Cribs was founded by university friends Jack Jenkins and Dan Jefferys, together with fellow entrepreneur Christian Samuel with whom they had previously worked on a student events and marketing venture. Having launched last year, University Cribs saw rapid adoption during the 2016-17 academic year, listing over 120,000 rooms for rent from a mix of 300 customers comprising lettings agents and student housing providers. The business expanded its geographic network in April to include properties in London, and now lists properties in 27 university towns across England and Wales.
With this new investment, the business is now valued over £2 million. Currently, the start-up generates revenues as a property listing service, University Cribs is planning on opening up new revenue streams to provide shared services to student households.
“The student property market is ripe for disruption. University Cribs is bringing much-needed transparency to the market, and the three founders have taken a smart approach to thinking about what value-added services they can bring to the student market,” Investor Tom Paine, said. They have built a nifty technology platform, and have built a trusted brand for the marketplace to allow them to offer more services in the future. I’m thrilled to be on board as an investor – it’s going to be an exciting journey from here.”
Another investor in the seed round, Chris Singleton, is a co-founder of Thor Companies. For him, the University Cribs’ co-founders’ start-up story is very similar to Thor Companies’ own.
“Qe encountered similar challenges and opportunities to the ones facing Christian, Jack and Dan. Having a solid management team will see them achieve great successes as they expand, innovate and grow University Cribs. We’ve invested in them as much as the business – they’ve engaged the student population in their brand and their product, and we see potential to support that loyal user base in a few years as they look beyond university towards full-time employment,” he said. The obvious synergies with our business, and others in the graduate market, make University Cribs a compelling investment.”
The angel investors involved in this seed round include Raffaelle Russo, director of Loc8Me, Dave Harvey and Tom Paine, co-founders of TeamLove, and Chris Singleton of Thor Companies.