Student accommodation startup OxfordCaps has raised $8 million (Rs 56 crore as per current exchange rates) in a Series A funding round led by Times Internet, a subsidiary of media house Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd., a company statement said.
Existing investors Kalaari Capital and Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture fund 500 Startups also participated in the round.
The startup will use the capital to expand to over 10 cities and to standardise its product using design thinking and technology, the statement added.
The startup is also investing heavily in technology, particularly focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and deep learning to provide a customised experience for students.
Run by Scholar Alley Pvt. Ltd, the startup was founded by INSEAD graduate Annu Talreja, (chief executive officer) and IIM-Calcutta alumnus Priyanka Gera (chief operating officer). It was first set up in Singapore in April 2017 and launched its India operations in July 2018.
OxfordCaps provides custom designed and standardised accommodation to students in Singapore and India with full-stack services and amenities. Through the startup's online platform, students can search and book accommodation units by signing agreements, connecting with their potential homeowners, making payments and placing service requests.
The startup operates three sub-brands, catering to students across different price segments—OxfordCaps Premium Residences, OxfordCaps Student Residences and OxfordCaps Dorms for the budget segment.
Besides accommodation, OxfordCaps also runs a student community and offers various engagement opportunities such as career events, entertainment, food trails and travel deals, its website states.
The students on OxfordCaps’ community come from universities such as National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technical University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), INSEAD Business School, ESSEC Business School and more.
OxfordCaps claims to have clocked 30X growth in 10 months since its launch in India and has expanded from 200 beds to over 6,000 beds.
Deals in the space
A number of other startups offering student accommodation services have garnered investor interest over the past few months.
Last year in September, Delhi-based student accommodation platform Stanza Living raised Rs 73 crore ($10 million) in a fresh round led by global venture capital firm Sequoia India.
In August 2018, Delhi-based University Living, an online global student housing marketplace, raised an undisclosed sum in a pre-Series A round led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) and LetsVenture.