68. University Cribs

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  • Henry Williams

Founders: Jack Jenkins, Daniel Jefferys, Christian Samuel and Sam Zappi
Founded: November 2014 (launched October 2016)
Website: universitycribs.co.uk

With 30 years of experience in student marketing between them, the founders of Cardiff-based University Cribs – Jack Jenkins, Daniel Jefferys, Christian Samuel and Sam Zappi – were well placed to shake up the staid student housing market.

Jenkins and Jefferys had previously built the Bubble Card, a student discount card and mobile app, before Jefferys and Samuel joined forces to create a student events business that now covers 46 cities in the UK and sees 250,000 attendees a year. University Cribs is their latest business targeted at the student market.

The founders first realised there was something “inherently wrong” with the way students search for their new home whilst they were still at university back in 2010.

By 2014, “the university property market was booming” and they decided the time was right to set up University Cribs: a search engine for university accommodation that simplifies the process for letting agents and its 40,000 student customers.

Launched in 2016, the website acts as a marketing platform, charging agencies and halls of residence to advertise. It has already secured more than 150 clients across the UK, Japan, Ireland, and Germany, including Foxtons, Student Roost and Fresh Student Living.

Since making its debut in the Startups 100 2017, the last year has seen University Cribs diversify its offering with two innovative products that set it apart from other competitors in the space.

The first of these is CribsVR, which offers virtual reality house tours online. The second is Cribs Bills (launching this summer), a household bill splitting platform. These developments were supported by the close of a £450,000 seed funding round in September 2017.

The next year will see the start-up continue to expand and develop new products as it looks to become an all-encompassing platform for student housing, listing property in every single student city in the UK and snaring 1,000 clients by the end of 2018.

Henry Williams

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