Welsh property startup raises £450,000

University Cribs is a property search engine for students

University Cribs, which has developed an online property rental platform for university students, has closed a seed funding round totalling 450,000.

At Digital Festival today, the Cardiff-based proptech (property tech) company announced it has raised funding from investors in a plethora of related industries and is looking to accelerate business growth.

With this capital, the firm hopes to expand its geographic reach by working with letting agents and student property providers from across the UK. It will also invest in product development.

Launched in November 2016, University Cribs is a student property search engine that allows letting agents, developers and assets to boost sales and marketing activity.

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Although still in the early stages, it is now operating in 27 university towns across the country, and more than 120,000 rooms have been listed on the platform.

It was founded by university friends Jack Jenkins and Dan Jefferys, together with fellow entrepreneur Christian Samuel. They had previously worked on a student events and marketing venture.

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 - ranging from UK property to student leisure.

"Today's investment allows us to push ahead with our plans, and make the most of the forthcoming academic year when over two million students will be considering their accommodation options for the years ahead."

Through the investment, the business is now valued at over 2 million. The angel investors involved in the fund included entrepreneurs with businesses in adjacent industries, something the firm said demonstrates it can function in new markets.

Tom Paine, co-founder of festival and event production company TeamLove, is one of the investors. He said: "The student property market is ripe for disruption.

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"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."

Chris Singleton, another investor and co-founder of Thor Companies, added: "As three co-founders who started up a business several years ago, we 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.

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"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."

Picture credit: University Cribs

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