The international student exchange housing platform, HousingAnywhere.com has raised €5 million in its latest funding round.
The Rotterdam-based startup received funding from Italian Real Web, the owner of Italy's largest online housing platform, and Dutch venture capitalist henQ.
The platform offers student housing options, from studios to single rooms, sublets and rental houses, to international students around the world.
HousingAnywhere.com will use the Series A funding to accelerate its platform’s growth and to expand to more university cities in Western Europe and the USA, says its CEO and founder Niels van Deuren.
“With this new funding we can continue our platform’s rapid growth," said van Deuren.
"It’s very valuable to us that a major international company like Real Web has joined us; they possess a wealth of experience in the online housing market and we can learn a lot from them. The fact that henQ is also providing new funding means there is a lot of confidence in our platform.”
The platform was founded in 2009 when van Deuren was preparing for his own foreign exchange study in Singapore, an experience that propelled him to develop a more secure way of approaching online rentals.
“A lot of landlords and subletters want you to pay rent in advance to make sure you actually show up but for a student, it’s a pretty big step to transfer money without having actually seen the place first,” van Deuren remembers.
It was his concern around safety and security for students that enabled him to address this problem -all monetary transactions through HousingAnywhere.com take place securely and the first month’s rent is only transferred after the student has viewed and approved their new home.