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Accommodation platform UniAcco raises $1m

Accommodation platform UniAcco has raised US$1 million in seed funding as it aims to become a leading platform for students to find housing in popular study destinations.

Founder Amit Singh and co-founder Sayantan Biswas started the business after seeing a big demand for PBSA in the UK. Photo: UniAcco

The organisation is going to expand into Australia in 2020, and add the US, Europe and Canada in 2021

Out of India, the company offers students “premium personalised housing facilities” via established providers.

Founder Amit Singh and co-founder Sayantan Biswas said they are aiming to create the “one-stop solution” by providing concierge services including visa consultation, help for students to set up bank accounts, airport transfer and a pre-activated overseas mobile SIM.

“We want the students to have a hassle-free journey and just focus on their education”

It also provides a guarantor service to help “smoothen” the journey for students.

Investment and wealth management platform Adventum Offshore led the funding, which will help UniAcco to expand in the purpose-built student accommodation market over the next couple of years – beginning with the UK.

“The reason for our focus on the PBSA in the UK is that it’s one of the most organised PBSA [markets] and it fits well with our experience and partnerships in the UK,” UniAcco’s VP marketing & demand sourcing Abhishek Sharma told The PIE News.

“We have already managed to signup with most of the leading PBSA operators in the region,” he said, adding that the two-year post-study work visa announcement will add a “significant jump” in the number of international students enrolling in the UK primarily from India, China, and the Middle East.

Those markets are the company’s primary sourcing markets, Sharma explained, where UniAcco helps students to compare, consult and choose accommodation from several established property providers.

“India will be our largest market due to presence in India helps in forming strong affiliates tie up and establishing credibility with students and parents,” he noted.

The organisation is going to expand into Australia in 2020, and add the US, Europe and Canada in 2021.

“Migrating to a new country for students in itself is a daunting task, adding picking a college then applying to it and then the visa procedures, the financing aspects of this decision, an accommodation once you get there, a bank account is sure to drive students and their families scared out of their minds,” Sharma said.

“We at UniAcco try to smoothen this transition by helping the students in any which way we can.

“We want the students to have a hassle-free journey and just focus on their education. To facilitate this migration in a smooth fashion we have tied up with leading visa counsellors, the largest institutional lender in India for student loans and a leading UK Bank for opening their bank accounts in the UK,” he added.

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