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Student.com predicts $1 billion “tip of iceberg”

Online student accommodation marketplace Student.com has predicted it will surpass $1 billion in gross booking value by the end of 2019 but says the milestone is just the “tip of the iceberg” for the potential global value of student accommodation.

To date, Student.com has raised $80 million in funding. Photo: Student.comTo date, Student.com has raised $80 million in funding. Photo: Student.com

To reach the goal, the company will need to almost double its lifetime gross earnings

“The student accommodation sector’s true value sits in the region of $180 billion globally”

The prediction comes after the organisation received a $10 million funding injection from Chinese owned CITIC Group as part of its Series C+, to bring total funding to $80 million to date.

“At Student.com we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg for the student accommodation sector – and its true value sits in the region of $180 billion globally,” founder and chief executive Luke Nolan said.

“Following our growth last year, we are looking at hitting the $1 billion completed gross booking value to date by the end of 2019.”

To reach the goal, the company will need to almost double its lifetime gross earnings, which currently sit at $600 million, and Nolan said the CITIC funding would be used to pursue technology solutions based on user behaviours.

“In order to achieve [our target] we will continue to focus on using technological innovation in the platform to provide a marketplace to meet industry demand – both from a student and landlord perspective,” he explained.

Among anticipated upgrades, Student.com will implement the systemization of the native app experience, as well as improvements to the services’ artificial intelligence level.

The funding comes almost two years after Student.com rebranded in China to ‘Xue Lü Jia’, which translates to “home for a student’s journey”, and partnered with Chinese travel platform, Qyer.

CITIC joins investors including VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Facebook VR’s Hugo Barra, and Breyer Capital’s Jim Breyer.

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