South African online student accommodation marketplace, DigsConnect.com has entered into an agreement with the world’s largest student accommodation site, Student.com, enabling the startup to expand its presence to approximately 30 new countries and 400 new cities in the next 6 months. DigsConnect was founded in 2018 and is a service to students and landlords, matching students to suitable accommodation in the areas around universities and colleges. The platform has to date connected more than 65,000 landlords and tenants.
DigsConnect.com CEO and co-founder, Alexandria Procter, says that it’s an exciting time for the business, best known for its record-setting R12m seed investment round in 2019. The agreement with Student.com comes off the back of an additional investment raise in early 2021 which aided the decision to investigate international expansion. “The last eighteen months has been tough for the property sector in South Africa, which has been amongst the hardest hit due to COVID. I believe that part of what this partnership signifies is the student accommodation sector bouncing back, as we gear up to welcome local and foreign students back to our universities, campuses and country for the 2022 academic year.”
Procter says that the primary growth regions for DigConnect.com include the USA, Europe and Asia-Pacific. “Growth in the Northern Hemisphere is important due to the academic calendar – with international operations, we’ll be able to take advantage of the academic seasons in both September (Northern Hemisphere) and again in January, our own South African peak period. This diversified geographic representation gives us multiple seasons a year, allowing us to bring in revenue year-round and have continual feedback cycles to continually improve our product and services,”says Procter.
Luke Nolan, CEO and Founder of Student.com says that he’s excited to watch the partnership come to life. “Our global network combined with the reach and experience of DigsConnect.com in South Africa will create a strong foundation for growth, especially as South Africa is such a popular student destination,” says Nolan. “More than anything, this partnership is built from the Student.com and DigsConnect.com culture; we share the same vision and live the same values – it’s exciting to partner together to help even more students globally.”
“We’re thrilled to be opening up a gateway between Africa and the rest of the world, to enable access to higher education globally for African students with dreams of pursuing higher education in any of the major European, American, or Australian cities”, says Procter. “We couldn’t have hoped for better partners than the Student.com team, it really is a dream come true to be building the future alongside them.”