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London-born online accommodation startup raises $10M funding

London-based online student accommodation startup has recently got funding of $10 million by Chinese-owned CITIC Group as part of its Series C+ round. With this, has been able to raise $80 million to date. The CITIC group involves investors such as VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Facebook VR’s Hugo Barra, and Breyer Capital’s Jim Breyer.

Further, the British company has predicted to cross the $1 billion benchmark in gross booking value by the end of 2019. Regarding the prediction, the company further stated that it is just the start for their potential global value of student accommodation.

Where will the latest funding go?

The latest funding will be used to pursue technology solutions based on user behaviours. Regarding the funding, founder and chief executive Luke Nolan said, “In order to achieve the target we will continue to focus on using technological innovation in the platform to provide a marketplace to meet industry demand – both from a student and landlord perspective”.

It is also anticipated that will be implementing the systemisation of the native app experience, as well as improvements to the services’ artificial intelligence level.

Nolan added, “At we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg for the student accommodation sector – and its true value sits in the region of $180 billion globally”.

Nolan further stated that in order to reach the goal, will be required to double-up its lifetime gross earnings, which is currently $600 million.

This funding has happened almost two years after it partnered with Chinese travel platform, Qyer and further rebranded itself in China to ‘Xue Lü Jia’, which means “home for a student’s journey”.

What you need to know about was launched in 2011 and had set students coming to Europe from Asia as its target audience. It has become the largest student accommodation marketplace that helps students find residential accommodation.

In 2015, the company saw $110 million in bookings, listed properties in 426 cities in proximity to 1,000 universities.

The company had raised combined Series B and C funding of $60 million in 2016 led by VY Capital, Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, and Hugo Barra of Xiaomi.

In today’s time, lists accommodation for more than 1,000 universities across some 400 cities, with offices in 18 cities on five continents. In 2019, the company expects to reach $1 billion on gross booking value.

Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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