This Start-up is Working Towards the Cause of Uplifting Student Living
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Empty pockets, stacks of books, the anxiety of keeping things in place. Sounds familiar? Well, the life of a student is a difficult one to fathom but nevertheless, technology, which is jumping to aid every sector on this planet is also aiding the student community. Oxfordcaps, a tech-enabled student housing company announced today that it has raised $8m in Series A funding led by Times Internet with participation from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Silicon Valley-based 500 Start-ups.
Uplifting Student Living
Oxfordcaps is co-founded by INSEAD graduate Annu Talreja, CEO and IIM-Calcutta alumni Priyanka Gera, COO. The aim of this student-oriented venture is to provide a hassle-free and technology-driven living experience to Gen Z students in India and Singapore. They are using machine learning algorithms to optimize the operations of properties by measuring usage of different amenities and provide a better user experience on a day to day basis. The cost of the dorms start from INR 8,000 and go upto INR 15,000.
Talreja says “We provide a custom designed and standardized Student Housing product with a full-stack model of services and amenities.”
The “PG” or paying guest concept is the most relatable concept in the life of a student. Indian students are akin to this concept more than anybody else. Migrating to cities in search of better education is the norm of the world and a thing of the past that prevails even today. Student living is, in fact, very much an expensive and cumbersome affair, moreover, the conditions under which these PGs breed cannot be called favourable.
“The projects and services are standardized within the Oxfordcaps brand services guidelines, providing a transparent, hassle-free and safe alternative to a market dominated largely by the unorganized PG (Paying Guest) segment till date.”
They operate via three sub-brands and cater to students across price segments including Oxfordcaps Premium Residences, Oxfordcaps Student Residences and Oxfordcaps Dorms for the budget segment.
Solving the Suffering of 10.4 million Students
Gera says that the market size is estimated to be $15 billion with more than 10.4M students across India migrating to cities every year to pursue their academic dreams. Student co-living, however, is yet to see the aspect of harmonious co-existence unless the hindrances of the high level of fragmentation, lack of quality solutions, price transparency, reliability and complete lack of tech enablement of processes etc are penetrated into.
“We offer fully-fitted out and custom designed residences with full-stack service model including wifi, laundry, nutritious meals, professional housekeeping and an array of events and activities focused on career development and lifestyle for our students,” says Talreja.
Oxfordcaps works directly with universities and colleges as well to build a tailored experience for the student community, both via on-campus and off-campus housing. The same can be said for Singapore which sees an array of the population from America, Europe and other parts of Asia.
Talreja says that their efforts to solve the problem of the student community paid off very well and the road ahead seems full of opportunities, “We clocked a 30X growth in <10 months since our launch in India and have expanded from 200 beds to acquisition of over 6,000 beds.”
Further, they aim to utilize the funding to grow their operations across education hubs in India including Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.