HousingAnywhere has said the investment will fund product innovation, market expansion and ensure that the company remains the ‘world’s leading student accommodation platform for mid-term rentals’.
Djordy Seelmann, CEO of HousingAnywhere said the company will use the new investment to scale up mainly in western Europe and develop the booking platform.
“People are becoming more used to booking everything online”
“Now that we’ve ensured that tenants and landlords can easily connect and safely conclude a tenancy agreement online, we will simplify the collection and payment of rent by offering a peer-to-peer payment service before the end of this year,” he said.
“This is a big step forward, and we’re developing payment technology with a lot of potential, which can ultimately be used more broadly in the real estate market.”
HousingAnywhere founder Niels van Deuren told The PIE News the move comes following requests from students.
“People are becoming more used to booking everything online,” he said. “This a trend we see more and more everyday, and it coming to real-estate is a logical next step.”
Users are currently only able to pay the first month’s rent through the platform, but changes will mean that in the future they will have the option to complete payments throughout their stay directly on the platform.
“Paying your monthly rent in cash is custom in some countries [and] is absolutely doable, but certainly not ideal for everyone,” Van Deuren explained. He added that “it’s not always optimal” to pay rent following the customs in the host country.
“This [move] means that … students or professionals can use their credit card to pay and don’t have to open a [local] bank account or have to walk around with large sums of cash to pay their rent every month,” he said. “This service will make the lives of students but also professionals working abroad easier.”
The company has also launched a pilot in May for the Erasmus University in Rotterdam where HousingAnywhere reserves a number of rooms on its platform for students.
In 2017, HousingAnywhere raised €5m in Series A funding to fuel its expansion into Western Europe and the US. The round of funding this year will also aid further expansion in Western Europe.
Student satisfaction is paramount for van Deuren, but staying ahead in an ever-changing market is also vital.
“We are using [customer] feedback to build the roadmap for the development of our platform and we always seek to improve even further. For us, not continuously improving the platform is like standing still.”