New Delhi: University Living, an innovative managed marketplace and purpose-built housing provider for international students pursuing higher education, has gained a robust business scale in FY 2018-19.
The company has clocked a 300 per cent year-on-year increase in its revenues and 30 per cent month-on-month in this quarter for its global business. From booking 50,000 nights in the year of its debut to achieving the current average booking rate of 120,000 nights per month since 2016.
In the last four months alone, the company has outstripped the total business done in the previous year, surpassing the target number and internal milestones for FY 2019-20 ahead of its time.
Saurabh Arora and Mayank Maheshwari founded University Living with the goal of resolving the problem of severe deficiency of campus accommodation in the global higher education domain. Committed to building a dedicated, end-to-end ecosystem that caters to every need of students studying at top global institutes, the start-up is addressing a high-potential market worth USD 200 billion.
Currently offering 1 million beds in 12,000 verified properties, the company has established a robust global presence in more than 180 international cities across markets such as the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Dubai, Singapore, etc.
Speaking on the announcement, Saurabh Arora, CEO at University Living, said, “It is estimated that only one out of six students are able to access campus accommodation in the global higher education sector. Our mission at University Living is to help students not only find verified, premium purpose-built housing but also fulfil a variety of needs that are part and parcel of living overseas. As such, we have tied up with a host of local service providers in more than 180 cities across the globe to ensure that students are happily accommodated in their new environment away from home.”
The company has scaled not only in terms of business but also the size and proficiency of its core team. Beginning with a small, five-membered team, University Living currently boasts a strong, dynamic workforce comprising of over 65 young, highly-skilled professionals committing 24x7x365 days to the service. The in-house team of experts leverages the company’s cutting-edge AI-driven, API-integrated platform to ensure the delivery of highly-customized services to students, handpicked to best suit their individual needs.
The array of services offered by University Living covers all aspects of living abroad, including the booking of student accommodation, local guarantor support, Forex solutions, room essentials, concierge service, opening a student bank account, among others. The start-up also enables students to access forex support and education loans.
Saurabh added, “We are delighted to observe that students are increasingly embracing us as their preferred accommodation partner. We will continue to offer our state-of-the-art services to students while expanding the reach and diversity of our offerings. Our aim is to not only ease but also enrich their experience of studying abroad.”
Catering to both B2B and B2C segments, University Living generates revenue primarily by partnering with property providers to enable successful bookings, and are accorded marketing budgets to generate leads for the same. Their core accommodation services are available at no additional cost to students, although nominal charges apply for more customised solutions.
The company has large student housing platforms such as iQ, Student Roost, Vita Student, and Unite Students on board, and is also looking to become a managed marketplace for smaller boutique property providers. In addition to having satellite offices in London and Melbourne, it seeks to double down on its US market. The organisation has already introduced a payment gateway to facilitate instant bookings and increased its portfolio of value-added services to offer airport transfers, welcome kits, and meet and greet to help students transition into university life overseas.