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Young entrepreneurs: Leon Ifayemi, SPCE

Backed by a £280,000 crowdfunding round, Leon Ifayemi is making a dent in the lucrative proptech sector with his student accommodation app

Name: Leon Ifayemi
Age: 24
Company: SPCE
Website: www.liveinspce.com

After graduating from the University of Leicester, Ifayemi set out on a career in finance, working for Deutsche Bank before moving to Barclays and then Edmond de Rothschild.

While his experience in these positions gave him a valuable insight into the world of finance, more importantly, it opened his eyes to the vibrant community of scaling UK businesses at the forefront of innovation.

And this window into business reignited an idea he’d been thinking about since university.

While in his second year of study, Ifayemi worked as a student ambassador helping connect students with landlords and rental accommodation. And it wasn’t long before he realised just how inefficient and cumbersome the process was for students moving from halls into private accommodation.

Determined that there must be a better, digital solution that millennials could get behind, Ifayemi quit finance to partner up with co-founder Omar Fahmi (a seasoned designer who ran his own brand design consultancy) to launch SPCE.

The app connects students and landlords together while automating the entire rental process, from the property search to the signing of contracts.

And it’s clear that the app has struck a chord.

Having exceeded its crowfunding target on Seedrs to raise £280,000 – with a staggering 82% of the round secured within 24 hours of the campaign launching – Ifayemi feels more confident than ever that other people love the idea of SPCE as much as him.

Moreover, crowdfunding has enabled the young entrepreneur (yes, he’s only 24!) to surround himself with a group of investors able to share not just funds but knowledge and advice to help propel the business forward.

Now in the midst of a Series A round, Ifayemi has big ambitions for the app in the next few years. By 2025, he wants SPCE to “become a globally recognised app for students on the hunt for their next rental property”.

Watch this space.