Earlier this year the Rotterdam-based startup Housing Anywhere raised 1 million dollar (885.000 euro) in funding led by Dutch VC firm henQ. A rental housing platform for students that study abroad for a specific period of time and follow a student exchange programme.
The startup was founded in 2009 by former Erasmus University student Niels van Deuren. In this episode of HitEnter Samir Saberi talks with Van Deuren about the past, present and future of Housing Anywhere.
Solving a personal problem
Starting out with solving a problem he was personally confronted with, Van Deuren launched the program first in his home city Rotterdam. A phone call from Maastricht University made him realize that he could expand his platform across the country. “They said can you also launch this also in Maastricht. I said, sure. It was then that I realized that I can help a lot more universities and students with my platform so I started to call all the universities in the Netherlands”, says van Deuren. Launching within a year in all the Dutch cities the company is now active in 21 countries and 155 cities worldwide.
The talk furthermore revolves around the revenue models that the startup applies, what the company is going to use the 1 million dollar for it raised earlier this year and Van Deuren’s vision for the future of Housing Anywhere. Van Deuren: “I really believe in focus. You have to focus on a niche market to become strong in a certain market.”