A website that claims to be the next Zoopla or Rightmove of student lets has won a place in the Top 100 UK start-ups list, joining famous businesses on the AXA insurance-sponsored list such as Deliveroo and notonthehighstreet.com.
Founded three years ago but launched in October 2016 the Cardiff-based property portal offers a single platform for students to search for properties in 25 cities and enables them to contact agents directly to arrange viewings.
University Cribs says it is planning to have student lets available in all the UK’s 64 student cities before the start of this year’s academic year in September.
It also says University Cribs has 120 agent clients across the UK just seven months after launching and 150,000 followers via its social media accounts including 139,220 on Facebook.
The company also says it has 122,172 rooms to rent advertised on its www.universitycribs.co.uk site and an audience of over seven million mostly 18-24 year olds through its social media reach.
What’s most notable about the company is the youth of its founders and team. The trio who started up the company – Daniel Jeffreys, Jack Jenkins and Christian Samuel (pictured, left to right) are all under 30 years old and had no previous experience in the property industry, online or otherwise.
They say the idea for the business was born out of their frustration while trying to find good accommodation as students, and the challenges of trawling around multiple agents’ sites.
“We had walked around 10-20 different letting agents, searched loads of websites and it had been time-consuming and stressful to organise,” Jack Jenkins told WalesOnline.
“It’s a new experience for students too, and a daunting task finding a new place to live. I guess I just realised that there was a real opportunity to fix the problems that existed.”
The three said they launched University Cribs to “disrupt” the student accommodation market there was a “lack of attention from other portals for students”.
“There were clear pressure points during the process of finding a student house that made it not as simple as it should be for students,” says Jack.
“There is a clear lack of transparency and the process is convoluted, being made up of both online and offline features and there was a lack of attention from other portals for students.
“Our aim was to innovate in this space and through the use of technology not only simplify the student search but also the time-consuming letting agents processes being carried out.”