The international exchange student housing platform, HousingAnywhere.com has raised €5 million in its latest funding round. The Rotterdam-based startup offers student housing options, from studios and single rooms to sublets and rental houses, to international students around the world. HousingAnywhere.com will use this Series A funding to accelerate its platform’s growth and to expand to more university cities in Western Europe and the USA. The funding comes from Real Web, owner of Italy’s largest online housing platform Immobiliare.it, and henQ – a Dutch VC firm that already led the seed funding round for HousingAnywere.com, raising €1 million.
CEO Niels van Deuren states: “With this new funding we can continue our platform’s rapid growth. It’s very valuable to us that a major international company like Real Web has joined us. They possess a wealth of experience in the online housing market and we can learn a lot from them. The fact that henQ is also providing new funding means there is a lot of confidence in our platform.”
HousingAnywhere.com was founded in 2009 when CEO and founder Niels van Deuren was preparing for his own foreign exchange study in Singapore. Finding suitable housing in a city where he didn’t know anyone proved to be a challenge. Van Deuren launched HousingAnywhere.com to address this problem. Homeowners and commercial housing companies offer student apartments and other types of housing for free on the HousingAnywhere.com platform. All transactions take place securely through HousingAnywhere.com and the first month’s rent is only transferred after the student has viewed and approved their new home.
Students who move abroad to study can also let out their own room or apartment on HousingAnywhere.com, which saves them from having to pay double rent during their foreign exchange period. The platform serves a network of housing offices from over 130 partner universities who recommend the company to their exchange students. This concept has already proven successful. The HousingAnywhere.com catalogue featured over 450,000 properties in 50 different countries, with 100,000 properties currently vacant.
The new funding enables the platform to expand to more countries and cities in major foreign exchange markets like the USA and Western Europe, where the EU’s popular Erasmus student exchange program alone mobilizes about 270,000 foreign exchange students each year. HousingAnywhere.com is set to reach 60 countries next year, expanding to 100 in 2018. A thousand new properties are added to the platform weekly. As growth accelerates, the company’s staff will also expand.