Student.com raises $60 mln

Student.com said Thursday that it raised a $60 million round led by VY Capital. Horizons Ventures (the technology investment arm of Mr Li Ka-Shing’s fund), Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon and Hugo Barra from Xiaomi also participated. London-based Student.com is a marketplace for international student accommodation.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 11th February 2016: Student.com, the world’s leading marketplace for international student accommodation, today announces a $60 million investment led by global investment firm VY Capital, with participation from Horizons Ventures (the technology investment arm of Mr Li Ka-Shing’s fund), Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon and Hugo Barra from Xiaomi.

Student.com has quickly become the largest accommodation marketplace for students studying abroad. Traditionally, finding reliable fixed-term housing in a new country can be a lengthy and challenging process for many students. The company seeks to make booking accommodation as simple and secure as possible for international students through a free-to-use marketplace.

In the upcoming academic year, Student.com will list properties in 426 cities, in close proximity to over 1,000 universities. The company is truly international, employing over 200 people, speaking 35 languages, in 7 locations across the world, including London, Shanghai, New York and Hong Kong.

As increased mobility transforms the education sector, landlords are looking for new ways to access the international student market, which is growing at a rapid pace. Recent data shows that an estimated 5 million students are currently studying abroad and the number of higher education students going overseas to study is growing at an average annual rate of 6.4%.

Every landlord listed has a contractual relationship withStudent.com, ensuring additional security and peace of mind. The website is available in 11 languages, and students have access to local knowledge of destination countries, as well as a team of multilingual booking agents.

Founder and CEO Luke Nolan set up Overseas Student Living in 2011 after a number of years working in China, where he observed first-hand the need to provide students with a trusted advisor to find accommodation abroad. Shakil Khan, who had met Nolan 10-years earlier while studying Chinese together in Shanghai, joined officially as Co-founder in 2014 to direct strategy and assume the role of advisor and mentor. John-Paul Jones joined as a second Co-founder and EVP Technology to head up the business technology solutions. In 2015, OSL became Student.com.

Nolan said: “Studying abroad is an incredible journey, full of excitement and adventure and it’s fundamentally influenced by where you live. Since starting the company, we’ve helped tens of thousands of international students find their perfect homes abroad. This round of funding, and what we’ve got in store for Student.com over the next few years, should enable us to help millions of students have the best possible study abroad experience.”

“The student housing market is arguably one of the single biggest industries not yet digitised,” remarked Khan. “WithStudent.com, we’re not only enabling international students the world over to quickly and easily find housing abroad; we’re also giving landlords a digital and global infrastructure to reach millions of students.”

Today’s investment will fuel growth in new markets, with expansion planned across the U.S., Latin America and the Middle East in the coming months. Funding will also be used to grow the team and bolster technology across the platform.

Alexander Tamas of lead investor VY Capital said: “The student housing market is one of the largest untapped real estate opportunities in the world, with international students contributing tens of billions of dollars to local economies. Student.com has built a platform that will truly revolutionise this market by bringing choice, access and a high-quality living experience to students around the world.”

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About Student.com
Student.com is the world’s leading marketplace for international student accommodation. The company seeks to simplify booking accommodation for international students through a free-to-use global marketplace which puts security and ease-of-use first. Every landlord listed has a contractual relationship with Student.com, ensuring additional security and peace of mind, and students have access to local knowledge of destination countries, as well as a team of multilingual booking agents. In the upcoming academic year, Student.com will list properties in 426 cities, in close proximity to over 1,000 universities. To date, the company has raised $60 million from investors including VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, and Hugo Barra of Xiaomi.