South African student accommodation marketplace DigsConnect has raised ZAR12 million (US$830,000) in funding to build out its team and its offering.
Launched early last year, the DigsConnect platform allows landlords, estate agents and property managers to post their property listings, with students then searching and filtering through these listings to find accommodation that suits their needs, and also find other students to live with.
In 13 months it has grown from just a few beds listed to over 50,000 beds in 11 locations around South Africa, and the startup has now secured ZAR12 million (US$830,000) in funding from unnamed investors.
“It is a very special moment for me, and in our company’s life. Our growth has been fantastic, and our team has grown from strength to strength. I’m so proud of my incredible team. All I can say is watch this space, because we’re just getting started,” said DigsConnect co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Alexandria Procter.
The funding will be used to grow the startup tech team as it builds out its platform, as well as for sales and marketing purposes.
“We don’t just want to digitalise the old school rental processes but to create a new rental experience using the best of what technology can offer – to ‘Airbnb-ify’ the process – allowing people to easily manage their own properties with our tech,” said DigsConnect co-founder and head of technology Brendan Ardagh.
Digs Connect, which has listings in every major university city or town nationwide and has so far not charged its users as it focuses on growth, plans to add features such as VR property viewings and rewards for on-time rental payments, and allow landlords to manage their properties through the platform, among other things.
“We’re also thrilled to be launching our ‘Virtual Res’ on April 18, which will totally revolutionise how universities verify their properties, communicate with landlords, and ensure that they have enough beds available around their campuses,” said co-founder and head of marketing Greg Keal.