13. Uniplaces

The global online marketplace for student accommodation

Founders: Miguel Amaro, Mariano Kostelec and Ben Grech
Founded: May 2012 (launched June 2013)
Website: www.uniplaces.com

Meeting as student entrepreneurs, Miguel Amaro, Mariano Kostelec and Ben Grech noticed that, unlike other industries, technology seemed to have neglected the hugely lucrative global student market. What’s more, the trio felt passionate that students should be able to book accommodation quickly and securely – particularly as it was increasingly becoming a barrier to education for some. Inevitably, it wasn’t long before an idea began to form with Amaro, Kostelec and Grech spotting a  potential opportunity for an easy and secure online student accommodation marketplace.

Uniplaces connects private landlords, property managers and purpose built student residencies with students from 130 different countries looking for accommodation. The company has seen more than 450,000 nights booked through its platform so far, taking a performance based commission from each one.

Started with their own personal savings and now with $5m investment, these young entrepreneurs are 100% focused on their target market, with a mission to become the global gateway to the student market. The next 12 months will be a period of ambitious expansion for the company and its 70-strong team as it seeks to rollout its services to the world’s major student hubs. With a global industry that is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, this disruptive start-up is in pole position to exploit it.

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