Housr opens door to £5m growth funding round

Housr, the startup focusing on student accommodation, recently announced the launch of a £5 million funding round aimed at expanding its operations in the UK and USA.

The PropTech company, co-founded by university friends Harry Panter and Ben Clayton, has already secured 30% of the £5 million through existing investors, with Bachmanity leading the round. The firm is actively seeking investment from both the UK and the US to further its mission of transforming property listings, lettings, and management.

Projected to reach break-even by July 2024, Housr anticipates an annual recurring revenue of £2.4 million within the next 16 months, driven by brand partnerships and utility billing. The company's workforce currently stands at 26, including four US-based employees, and is led by President Craig Joseph.

Post-funding, Housr aims to extend its presence to six UK cities and seven US cities and increase its workforce to 45, focusing on operations, marketing, and campus-based roles. The company's recent acquisition of an online student community in Leeds marks a significant step in its expansion plans.

In its second year, Housr added 45,000 properties to its platform across Manchester and Birmingham, securing hundreds of lettings for the academic term beginning September 2024. Harry Panter, co-founder and CEO, shared:

"We have proved our platform and business model to be the future of student lettings in two of the country’s biggest cities. We’re now ready to disrupt the property market in the rest of the UK. Our intuitive and frictionless app streamlines each step of the rental process, from search to management, and utilities. This makes it easy for tenants and agents to manage their home in a single place.”

The app is projected to reach 30,000 users by January 2024 and currently collaborates with 30 UK-based letting agents, facilitating an average of 73 rentals per week. Harry further added:

“This additional funding will turbo-charge our progress and help establish Housr as the go-to student housing partner in the UK and the US. While both markets are different it is clear that both are ripe for digital transformation and disruption.

“The latest generation of students demands this level of digitisation from the sector, and until now the archaic industry has been unable to provide it. Our ethos – built by students for students – serves this group. We understand what truly resonates with them. Our introduction of rapid peer-to-peer rentals will change how students find housing, making it cheaper and more efficient for all involved."

Previously, Housr raised £1.2 million over two years, with contributions from Bachmanity Capital and various angel investors including David Evans, Ian Tyler, Steve Thornhill, Barry Brown, among others. These investments have enabled the development of its proprietary technology and the launch of an updated app version.

The smartphone app, available on iOS, is anticipated to attract 30,000 users by January 2024. It operates akin to a dating app, allowing users to swipe through properties and arrange viewings. Landlords and letting agents can also use it as a management portal. The app's AI capabilities streamline the administrative aspects of securing a rental property.

Housr's app has developed a strong student community, offering perks like rent discounts, free pizza for a year, and drink offers through its commercial brand partners.