University Living surpasses $300m in gross booking value

Global student housing platform - University Living - surpasses $300m in gross booking value, defying the pandemic.

Greenwich university, UK - University Living | PBSA News
Greenwich university.

Intelligent software-retrieval global student housing platform – University Living – surpasses over $300m in gross bookings from over 93 countries worldwide – with $100m in the last year alone, demonstrating 3.5x growth in 2021. To date, the company has booked over seven million nights on its platform, which provides 100% verified properties in close proximity to universities. University Living also offer VAS like guarantor services, room essentials, education loans, remittance and more.

Launched in 2016, University Living has seen tremendous growth in these past six years and has remained profitable since day one. By expanding their reach and catering to 265+ popular global study-abroad destinations across the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, Canada and Europe, the company has doubled their revenue year-on-year.

“In just a matter of six years we have come a long way and what an incredible journey it has been! However, we have miles to go before we sleep. We’ve only just scratched the surface; exciting times lie ahead. We plan on creating enhanced and seamless experiences in the student accommodation arena, pursue exciting global opportunities and rapidly advance our core product and service offering.

“As more students venture out to study abroad, the student accommodation sector continues to expand rapidly with their being a dearth towards the fag end of the booking season. We plan on addressing all of those concern areas and more to give a student a holistic experience in their home away from home. We are working closely with our partners to bring safe, thought-through accommodation spaces that make their stay seamless and their lives simpler.”

Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, University Living
University Living data | PBSA News
University Living data.

The top preferred destination among students continues to be the UK, followed by the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. The RedSeer report indicates that the student housing market has tripled in the last ten years and is projected to double from its current size by 2025. According to data shared by AECC global, 91% of Indian students preferred to study abroad in 2021, regardless of Covid-19. Globally, over 35 million students studying abroad, and recent trends show that students are looking for study destinations to set them up with an all-inclusive package.

“Over 35 million full-time students pursue higher education in our addressable markets. Out of that, only 16% of students can be accommodated in existing university-led hostels. There are approximately three million student housing PBSA beds being operated by major players in the addressable market. This is a market that has plenty of potential for growth with the student to bed ratio skewed at 4:1 ratio. This is exactly the kind of market demand that we, at University Living, want to fulfil. We strive to build the world’s largest student housing managed marketplace that is both efficient and loved; a platform that delivers the best-in-class living experience to guarantee a home for every student.”

Mayank Maheshwari, Co-Founder & COO, University Living

University Living are working on several new product and service launches this year from the 150+ person-startup headquartered in Delhi NCR. Some include the platform’s compare feature, one-click instant bookings, exclusive deals and discounts on accommodation, travel and exclusive scholarship deals.

Apart from accommodation, University Living also covers other aspects of living abroad such as local guarantor support, forex solutions, room essentials, concierge service and helping students with their overseas bank account. The start-up also enables students to access forex support and education loans. The platform has a 150k strong global student community that they are connected to via their social media channels.

“The journey hasn’t been easy for University Living, but even in the face of adversity and grave challenges, the team led by Saurabh and Mayank have fought bravely. It’s incredible to see how they have managed to scale the business from scratch and bring it to 300 million GMV!

“The focus for University Living has always been to create a long-term sustainable business by focusing on the right balance between new-age business deliverables and adding value to the end user. They have managed to spread their geographical footprint globally while being headquartered in India. Customer-centricity, transparency and innovation has always taken the wheel for their growth story.

“[University Living have] adopted future-proof technology, sought out productive partnerships and didn’t hesitate to venture into new customer markets. This helped with cost efficiencies and premeditated damage control. I wish them well as they continue on this journey.”

Sachin Tagra, Partner, JSW Ventures, has been personally vested in University Living’s growth story