Back in 2009, Dutch student-turned-entrepreneur Niels van Deuren used his experience to look out for an overseas accommodation study as an idea for his startup. He founded Housing Anywhere, an online platform, which helps university students look for an affordable, safe and short-term accommodation overseas.
In a recent development, Djordy Seelmann, the CEO of the company has been announced as the new head. The founder Niels van Deuren will still remain as a stakeholder. Notably, Seelmann is involved in the product development team of HousingAnywhere’s booking platform since 2014. And, in April this year, he was appointed as the CEO.
Besides the booking platform, he is also involved in the scaling of the teams, messaging, payments and search of features of the platform and creation of new and exciting products.
What’s HousingAnywhere about?
HousingAnywhere is the largest housing platform in the world helping international students and young professionals. It is a unique online platform that lets tenants and landlords connect directly. Also, it teamed up with over 160 partner universities that recommend their international students to use the platform. As of now, the Rotterdam-based housing platform connects has helped over 5 million users in 100 countries covering over 400 cities.
How did it start?
Well, the founder of HousingAnywhere came up with the idea after realising the struggles involved in looking out for temporary housing in Singapore for his studies. He was pursuing a degree in International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management when he found the business opportunity. The course included a semester exchange to the National University of Singapore. It was then that he struggled to find a housing there. Also, he struggled to lease his own apartment in Rotterdam. And, these struggles paved the way for one of the hottest global companies – HousingAnywhere.
Benefits both parties
Well, HousingAnywhere is beneficial for both the international students looking out for accommodation as well as students who like to lease out their property for others. The company works by selling memberships to universities for a specific fee. With this subscription, universities promote the services on their own communication channels so that students get to know about the possible accommodation for them.
On the other hand, students who already own an accommodation can advertise the same on HousingAnywhere’s platform. Interested students will respond with their requirements. To access the service, they should have a verified student email account from a client university. This way, HousingAnywhere ensures that the accommodation is safe and genuine.
The Rotterdam-based startup focuses on a city-wise business model instead of a country-wise approach. This approach has made them mark their presence even in the unthinkable places. Usually, students end up looking out for accommodation in the cities and the demand for rooms is definitely high in the cities. The work of HousingAnywhere becomes simple by just letting them know that the platform exists.
Focuses on further expansion
Till date, HousingAnywhere raised nearly €11 million of funding. Reportedly, right now, their prime focus is on the Western Europe and US markets as the international student traction is higher in these regions. One of the reasons for their success is that though the universities have grown, the campuses haven’t changed, resulting in an increase in the number of students seeking accommodation outside the campuses. And, this is a great opportunity for business and growth.
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