South African digital student accommodation platform DigsConnect has closed a pre-Series A round of funding to spearhead its international growth, with a focus on helping African students in the UK and US secure more affordable, convenient, and safe housing.
Launched by Alexandria Procter and Greg Ramsay-Keal in 2018, 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.
The startup, which raised ZAR12 million (then US$830,000) in March 2019 and last year secured a ZAR3 million (US$200,000) grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, recently entered into an agreement with the world’s largest student accommodation site, Student.com, enabling it to expand its presence to approximately 30 new countries and 400 new cities. It now has over 1.3 million beds listed on its platform, and is expanding its operations into the UK, US, Singapore, and Europe.
That expansion has now received a boost after DigsConnect secured pre-Series A funding from Launch Africa Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Five35 Ventures and Delta Ventures. This group of investors will allow the startup to scale global operations and significantly amplify its growth strategy.
“The tech startup industry is experiencing a funding winter at the moment, so the fact that we received so much early support from excellent pan-African and US investors speaks volumes about the strength of the team, the value of our strategic partnership with Student.com, our strategy of early profitability, and sound unit economics,” said Procter.
Zachariah George, Launch Africa Ventures general partner, said DigsConnect’s revenue traction, smart customer and inventory acquisition strategies, and strong founding team appealed to his company, as did its substantial total addressable market (TAM) in student housing.
“This investment provides interesting portfolio connectivity to several of our 115 portfolio companies who are interested in bettering university students globally,” he said.