Cardiff-based proptech firm raises £450,000 investment

University Cribs, an online platform for student property rental, has announced it’s just completed a seed funding round totalling £450,000.

It’s created a search engine that simplifies the way university students find and secure affordable housing. Letting agents and accommodation providers can use it to market their properties too.

At the Digital Festival, the Cardiff-based tech start-up confirmed it’s raised investment from investors working in a range of related industries and is looking to accelerate business growth.

Using the new capital, University Cribs wants to expand its geographic reach further by forming partnerships with letting agents and student property providers across the UK.

The firm will also invest in product development. It was founded by university friends Jack Jenkins and Dan Jefferys, along with fellow business titan Christian Samuel.

Despite only launching in 2016, the company has already expanded to 27 university towns across the UK, and it’s listing more than 120,000 rooms for rent from 300 customers.

Jack Jenkins, co-founder of University Cribs, said: “Dan, Christian and I are thrilled to have the backing of established entrepreneurs and business leaders within relevant industries.

“As the university term starts across the UK, we want to offer students the easiest and most hassle-free route to rental. Today’s investment allows us to push ahead with our plans, and make the most of the forthcoming academic year.”

Fellow co-founder Christian Samuel said: “This investment allows us to push ahead with our plans to grow our user base and geographic locations of the service over the coming academic year.”

As a result of the investment, the company’s valuation is now at £2 million. Angel investors in this round included entrepreneurs with businesses in adjacent industries, demonstrating the value of the University Cribs platform to develop in new markets

Tom Paine, co-founder of Bristol festival and event production company TeamLove, is one of the investors. He said: “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.

“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.”

“The obvious synergies with our business, and others in the graduate market, make University Cribs a compelling investment.”