DigsConnect, a South African student accommodation marketplace, has partnered with Student.com, a global site, to extend its global reach.
In the next six months, the partnership will allow the local startup to expand to approximately 30 new countries and 400 new cities.
The DigsConnect platform, which was launched in 2018, allows landlords, estate agents, and property managers to publish their property listings, with students searching and filtering through these ads to find accommodation that meets their needs, as well as find other students to live with.
The startup, which raised ZAR12 million (US$830,000) in March 2019 and received a ZAR3 million (US$200,000) grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation earlier this month, has connected over 65,000 landlords and tenants to date and is now expanding internationally through a partnership with Student.com.
The United States (US), Europe, and Asia-Pacific, according to DigsConnect CEO and co-founder Alexandria Procter, are the startup’s key growth markets.
“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 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,” she said.
Luke Nolan, CEO and founder of Student.com, said he was excited to watch the partnership come to life.
“Our global network combined with the reach and experience of DigsConnect in South Africa will create a strong foundation for growth, especially as South Africa is such a popular student destination,” he said. “More than anything, this partnership is built from the Student.com and DigsConnect culture; we share the same vision and live the same values – it’s exciting to partner together to help even more students globally.”