Tech Pitch: University Cribs

With an official roll-out in two weeks' time, this start-up's founding trio believe they have the solution to the student property market...

Company name: University Cribs
Founders: Jack Jenkins (27), Daniel Jefferys (29), and Christian Samuel (23)
Background: Over 25 years’ of combined experience building brands within the student market.
Based in: Cardiff, Wales

Very simply, what does your start-up do?

  • University Cribs is the student property search engine, helping students find their future homes on one interactive platform.
  • The platform was launched to simplify the way that students search for properties online, whilst offering letting agents and student halls an effective and dynamic tool to help market their properties.
  • The website is informative, giving our student users content-driven articles regarding student life, guides on what to look for when finding their next home, and guides on their local area.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

The current methods that students undertake in finding their new homes are not only out-dated, but are also out of touch with the needs and wants of the current student demographic. The journey to finding a perfect home as a student can be a stressful and arduous task.

With University Cribs, the necessity of trawling through multiple letting agency websites and visiting countless letting agent branches is gone. Finding, shortlisting, and sharing favourite properties couldn’t be easier. Our student guides explain the whole process too – without the jargon

The student property industry has seen billions of pounds ploughed into the development of purpose-built accommodation blocks in recent years. Letting agents and private hall developers will find the need to market directly and effectively to students, with this increase of supply in the market.

As specialist student marketers with over 25 years’ experience building brands within the student sphere, we have extensive knowledge of student behaviour and are perfectly placed to build this platform.

Are you funded?

Yes. We had our first seed round earlier this year, and are now in the process of producing our new investor memorandum to run a new round towards the end of the year.

We are on the look-out for the right investment partners who can aid our ambitious growth plans, and welcome any conversations with individuals or companies who may be of help to us.

What were you doing before starting?

The idea for University Cribs goes way back – we even bought the web domain in 2010. It just wasn’t the right time for us to launch the company, both in terms of experience and our marketing processes. As time went on and our knowledge of marketing to students improved, it became clear that we could easily provide a product that every student needed.

So we set out on building one of the biggest student platforms on the web.

We’ve all worked in the student marketing industry for many years, boasting a combined total of nearly 30 years experience between us. Jefferys and Samuel operate one of the largest UK student marketing agencies, running student events in over 46 cities across the UK. The data and reach on social media platforms they have built though their existing business provides the bedrock for University Cribs.

Jenkins left the student industry to build a direct sales company, complementing us well with a newfound knowledge of business-to-business sales. We also tweaked our marketing approaches and put together a driven sales team.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

In Cardiff, we are based in the fastest-growing capital city in Europe. The city is a hot-spot for entrepreneurial business, and is now commonly regarded as a rapidly growing tech centre in the UK.

Cardiff never gets boring. It’s a dynamic and vibrant city, full of activity and like-minded people with a desire to create and build. Not only does this lead to exceptional recruitment opportunities, but we have also benefitted from brilliant support from the Welsh Government, through their initiatives and funding programmes.

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